Our Blog: Nourishing Relationships

Aging and the Importance of Connections

“Being Mortal”

Atul Gawande’s 2014 book, Being Mortal–Medicine and What Matters in the End, is “about the agmodern experience of mortality–about what it’s like to be creatures who age and die, how medicine has changed the experience and how it hasn’t, [and] where our ideas about how to deal with our finitude have got the reality wrong.”

Gawande challenges much that we think we know about aging, and about how we as a society deal with those who are aging.

He takes up Abraham Maslow’s famous “A Theory of Human Motivation,” which is elaborates a hierarchy of human needs. Maslow’s argument was that “safety and survival remain our primary and foundational goals in life, not least when our options and capacities become limited.”

“Reality is more complex,” Gawande writes. “People readily demonstrate a willingness to sacrifice their safety and survival or the sake of something beyond themselves, such as family, country, or justice. And this is regardless of age.”

So What Does Matter?

For young people, growing up “involves opening outward. We search out new experiences, wider social grandfather-1434575__180connections, and ways of putting our stamp on the world.”

However, “when people reach the latter half of adulthood…their priorities change markedly. Most reduce the amount of time and effort they spend pursuing achievement and social networks….They narrow in….They interact with fewer people and concentrate more on spending time with family and established friends. They focus on being rather than doing and the present more than the future.”

Families Connect is an Answer

The Families Connect application is designed to facilitate connection among friends and families, for the young and the older. If you are a younger person seeking to widen and sustain a broader social network, you can build a Families Connect family to accomplish that goal. If you are an older person seeking to cultivate and preserve memories among established friends and family, the Families Connect application works for you, as well.

Please give it a try.

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