Dear Cheryl E. Woodson: We are not the Pope
February 15, 2013 § 1 Comment
I am surprised by my strong reaction when I read articles of experts that suggest that older adults should stop living alone at a certain point. This time, in the New York Times, Cheryl E. Woodson, a geriatrician, compared older solo dwellers with the Pope. Yes, the Pope. She used this comparison to argue that adults living alone should have the courage to admit when it is too much to make it alone.
In my comment to her article, I wrote, as nicely as I could, that it is time to STOP pointing fingers only to the individual abilities to live alone. It is time instead to consider original interventions that allow older adults to live alone in their homes, if this is what they desire (and they usually do desire that). It is the responsibility of civic societies, i.e. public and private institutions, to assist older adults living alone to remain as integrated as possible in their social network and not to end up in age-segregated ghettos.
When I read articles like that one, I become even more convinced of the value of my research.