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Letter: Quality of life is issue in discussion of aging

Quality of life is issue in discussion of aging

I read with dismay the article from the Washington Post that interviewed professor David Sinclair on “Changing our approach to aging.” Clearly Sinclair, age 46, does not understand the experience of aging. His approach is to conquer several major diseases in order to extend life expectancy to 150 years of age!

As a person who is 83 years old, I understand what aging is all about, and it is not escaping death from any of those diseases. Being old was best summed up by Art Linkletter: “Growing old isn’t for sissies.” I learned about old age when I “celebrated” my 80th birthday and began to ache in areas I never knew existed.

My balance grew difficult, as evidenced by unexpected falls. I developed a mild “drop foot” which, because of my ignorance, was not corrected with surgery, so I walk with a slight limp. I did have successful surgery on my leg, which had hurt when I walked. Getting up from sitting or lying on the floor is difficult and with some pain. And my physician, who specializes in geriatrics, tells me I’m in great shape!

Yes, I work out at my gym four times a week and I do 3-mile walks a couple of times a week, but I still feel older each year. So let’s fix these old-age things if you want to change the “approach to aging,” because right now I don’t want to live to be 150.

Russell R. Burton, DVM, Ph.D.