Celebrating 15 Years of the Village Movement with Dr. Atul Gawande

PNA Village is proud to announce that renowned surgeon, public health researcher and writer Dr. Atul Gawande will be the guest speaker at the 15th Celebration of the founding of Beacon Hill Village and the subsequent Village Movement they inspired on Monday, February 13, 2017.

20696006His conversation, entitled “Being Mortal’s Villages: The Value of Community and Choice as we Grow Older,” will be moderated by Robin Young, host of NPR’s Here & Now, and feature a discussion on aging, living life with purpose, and how we can transform the possibilities for the later chapters in everyone’s lives. The live event will begin at 2pm PST and be simulcast from Boston to more than 150 of the 350-plus villages open and in development across the country, including the PNA Village.

All are welcome to join the PNA Village for a viewing party and subsequent conversation facilitated by Cecile Andrews, author of Living Room Revolution: A Handbook for Conversation, Community, and the Common Good.

The Village Movement is a burgeoning, world-wide movement that champions an alternative approach for adults as they grow older. Villages are unique in that they are created by and for older adults, empowering their members to make wise, safe, and vibrant choices about how they wish to live.

WHEN:  Monday, February 13, 2017; 1:30 – 4:00 PM
WHERE:  Phinney Neighborhood Center, Brick Building, Community Hall
6532 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103 (parking and elevator)

Phinney Books1 will be at the event with copies of Being Mortal for purchase. Cash or credit cards accepted.

Please bring a snack or dessert to share and RSVP at 206-789-1217 or village@phinneycenter.org

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The Tyranny of Safety

YOUNG, OLD. NO ONE ESCAPES THE TYRANNY OF SAFETY. Image: Greg Hollobaugh

YOUNG, OLD. NO ONE ESCAPES THE TYRANNY OF SAFETY. Image: Greg Hollobaugh

By Anthony B. Robinson
Crosscut.com — February 3, 2015

In the era of school shootings and terrorism it is understandable that safety has become a priority. But has it also become an obsession?

Are we so focused on “safety” that we overlook the downsides, or at least the other side, of this priority? In her provocative book, A Field Guide to Getting Lost, Rebecca Solnit notes, “A recent article about the return of wildlife to suburbia described the snow-covered yards in which the footprints of animals are abundant and those of children entirely absent.

But it is not only the young that lose out when safety becomes an unquestioned norm. It is also the old.

“As far as the animals are concerned,” Solnit continues, “the suburbs are an abandoned landscape, and so they roam with confidence. Children seldom roam, even in the safest places. Because of their parents’ fear of the monstrous things that might happen (and do happen, but rarely), the wonderful things that happen as a matter of course are stripped away from them . . . I wonder what will come of placing this generation under house arrest.”

Others have also commented on the constrictions of so-called helicopter parenting and the over-scheduled child. A concern for safety is at least part of what has eroded the opportunities for children to roam the neighborhood and have the unstructured time to do so.

But it is not only the young that lose out when safety becomes an unquestioned norm. It is also the old.

In the new book of physician-author Atul Gawande, Being Mortal, Gawande describes what has happened as safety becomes the be-all and end-all as people age and encounter the trials of sickness and mortality. Safety, concludes Gawande, is not the same thing as meaning.

Continue reading here.

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How Americans’ refusal to talk about death hurts the elderly

the conversation about death is really about autonomy (via Vox)

By Sarah Kliff
Vox—January 11, 2015

In my family, we don’t really talk about death. But, every now and then, we joke about it.

For some reason, there is a running joke among my immediate family about how my parents will die. Specifically, my brother and I will come home for Thanksgiving one year and find them decomposing on the couch.

…these conversations could be the starting point for a health-care system that cares just as well for patients who will heal as those who will not

Yes, this is a bizarre thing to crack jokes about. But it’s also, in its own, ghoulish way, a bit of a fantasy — an affront to the way that Americans tend to die in the 21st century, with ticking machines and tubes and round-the-clock care. In this joke, my parents’ death is a simple, quiet, and uncomplicated death at home.

I joke about death because I am as terrified of having serious end-of-life conversations as the next person. Usually I don’t have to think much about dying: my job as a health-care reporter means writing about the massive part of our country devoted to saving lives — how the hospitals, doctors, and drugs that consume 18 percent of our economy all work together, every day, to patch up millions of bodies.

But recently, the most interesting stories in health care have been about death: the situations where all the hospitals, doctors, and drugs in the world cannot halt the inevitable.

Read the full article here