Aging and Fear
Jesse Kornbluth, Headbutler.com
Ronni Bennett, Timegoesby.net
Eric Kornfeld, comedy writer
Professor Michael Smyer, Boston College Center on Aging and Work
Okay, we may have nothing to fear but fear itself - but that's plenty, thank you very much. The Life (Part 2) panel echoes some of the concerns expressed by the folks in the street interviews, and offers some insights about their own fears.
First of all, it may be an anathema to even bring up your fears with friends or family. Many people don't want to talk about "it". "It" being all those things that come with aging, like long-term care issues, financial concerns, and of course, dying. Indeed, they are not easy conversations to have.
But they are necessary. Acknowledging one's fears can deflate their power, as well as create stronger and more intimate connections with others.
So, what else can you do? Blogger Ronni Bennet says that most people don't want to be a burden to others, namely their children. Jesse Kornbluth suggests buying long-term health insurance so you're only an emotional burden to your kids.
Which brings us to humor. It's easy to be paralyzed by fear, but having a sense of humor can be a useful coping mechanism. (Comedian Eric Kornfeld also suggests alcohol.)
And the panel has a lot of accumulated wisdom to offer about other ways to deal with the uncertainties of the future. Kornbluth offers his bottom line: you can't predict what's going to happen tomorrow or thirty years from now, so live your life. (And pass the wine.)