On the way to a short walk yesterday we happened to be chatting in the car about old age and how so many people go into a long decline which saps their dignity in such a cruelly lingering manner. Universal health care was never supposed to be like this but it is. Huge numbers of people now live long lives, well beyond the physical and biochemical competence of their own body. Too often they are fated to die a far from dignified death.
Coincidentally we popped into a cafe for a coffee while a heavy rain shower eased off. As we pushed open the door we came across a chap we once knew as a keen walker. Ten years ago in his early seventies he was still good for a ten mile walk every Sunday, but not now. Reduced to a bent old man he could barely hobble to the car with the aid of a couple of sticks.
Such a common story too. Some are lucky and some are not. Some age well and some don’t and much of it seems to be down to bad luck rather than leading a healthy lifestyle. Decent healthy people slowly wrecked and abused by their own bodies failing too slowly. It is an impossibly difficult issue but I've seen too much of it - I cannot believe we handle it well as a society. We may as well smoke, drink and hope for a quick exit.