We’ve all seen it happen: An older friend or family member retires, is diagnosed with a serious illness or loses a spouse. Suddenly, this individual’s world is altered, sometimes seemingly beyond recognition. He has reached a fork in the road; will he get stuck or find a way to regroup and move on? In a new book, “The End of Old Age,” Dr. Marc Agronin, a geriatric psychiatrist, calls this moment an “age point” — an event that disrupts an older person’s life and challenges the person’s ability to cope while also offering the potential for new growth. Growth is one of Agronin’s primary preoccupations. As director of mental health services at Miami Jewish Health Systems, he says he frequently sees older adults rise to difficult challenges, demonstrating their adaptability and resourcefulness. Yet the oft-repeated narrative of decline associated with aging — that this stage of life is all about loss and deterioration — doesn’t recognize these positives, he argues. In a wide-ranging discussion, we talked about aging, resilience and how people can prepare for this stage of life. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity. Q: How did you become interested in aging issues? I grew up… Read full this story
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