Topics on Aging

By Juan Gallo

How should we evaluate our quality of life as we age?

June 13, 2022

How should we evaluate our quality of life as we age?
Last week, we talked about how we define health and how cultural perspectives might change our definitions. Now, I want to discuss how those definitions affect our healthcare decisions as we age.

There was a time when the lifespan of humans was not very long. However, with medical advances, conditions that used to be death sentences are no longer. We can give somebody a pacemaker or put them on dialysis and extend their life for years and years.

We know how to keep people alive over a long period of time. But that begs the question: How should we evaluate our quality of life as we age?

We know how to keep people alive over a long period of time. But that begs the question: How should we evaluate our quality of life as we age?

I once asked a doctor this question. I wanted to know what the quality of life would be for a person if she made it out of a coma.

The doctor stared at me intently and said very seriously, “Life is the quality of life.

”In other words: “Being alive is enough.

”I don’t know how much I agree with that. On one hand, I can look at this from the perspective of God’s sovereignty. In that case, if God has you alive, then you still have purpose on this earth.

From my own viewpoint, if I’m sick to the point where it’s costing millions of dollars to take one more breath, what kind of quality of life do I have? If I’m only living to go to one doctor or the next, I don’t know. I don’t know that I would want to live like that. I think I would pray: “God take me home.

”We are living longer, and medicine is sometimes capable of extending our lives past our illnesses. I think for that reason, balance becomes that much more important. We’ll discuss what health in balance looks like next week.

How do you determine your own personal quality of life? As you age, what are things that are most important to maintaining the life you want to live?

If you’re interested in helping improve the quality of life for a senior in our community, become a Heart2Heart volunteer!

Read more about:
Juan Gallo
Juan Gallo is the CEO of Heart2Heart Outreach, where he oversees the mobilization of volunteers to provide hope, share love and restore purpose to the lives of the aging population across South Florida.

He also serves as a local pastor and as an adjunct professor at Trinity International University, where he is teaching a course on diversity and aging. Juan has a master’s degree in counseling and psychology and is a licensed mental health counselor intern.

1 Comment

  1. Melissa Lopez

    This is great, thank you.

    Reply

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This blog is a frank conversation about what it means to age in our society.

I want us to consider what a wider range of diverse experiences when we talk about aging. I want to reflect on how we, as a community, want our neighbors and our mothers and fathers and our grandparents to live out their latter decades of life. I want us to consider each one of their voices as we strive to meet their needs.

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