Friday, October 30, 2009

Properly Estimating Older Friends and Colleagues

I learned, or perhaps relearned, something important today in relation to an older friend. He had been gaining weight and declining in his ambulatory status during the past 6 months or so. Yesterday I urged him not to walk to an overgrown area where I was walking because I felt that there were too many opportunities to trip and fall. However, today he chose to go there with me. He plodded a bit more than I, and he kept to the trails a little more, but he never seemed to be at risk for a fall.

There are lessons in at least two directions for this. One of course is that I was correct to look out for his welfare. The opposing lesson was that I should not legislate him away from taking a small risk. My friend is not frail. He can fall in a reasonable place and not get injured. And continuing to do the things that are important to him is very important in his continued viability in many dimensions. I have been thinking about continued challenge and exercise as one ages, and it appears to be even more important than I had thought. This is but one small example.

No comments:

Post a Comment