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Is Aging a Disease by Connie Mason Michaelis

Excerpt from Daily Cures, Wisdom for Healthy Aging

I had no idea there was a hot debate about the nature of aging. The question is, “Is aging a disease process, or is aging a natural progression of life?” Yes, some elders have illnesses, but growing old, of itself, is not a disease as far as I am concerned. I’ve met many 90-year-olds who take no medication because they have no specific illness to treat. Everyone wants to live a long time, but no one wants to get old! Maybe that is because people correlate old with ill. I assume that growing old is a natural process, just like growing from infancy to childhood and childhood to youth. We don’t consider any of those progressions as a disease. We shouldn’t insinuate that gray hair is some type of ailment. The natural progression of aging is just that …natural!

When individuals embrace aging as a natural progression, there is more acceptance and peace through the process. Why are we inundated with advertisements for anti-aging products? Do we really want to be against aging? As of this time, the only true way to avoid aging is dying, and I don’t think that is what the average person is looking for. Betty White, the 99-year-old actress, was asked in an interview, “What do people get most wrong about being old?” She responded, “We’ve made age such a terrible thing that the younger people think that just getting to that age is awful. But if you’re blessed with good health, and I am, you can get by with murder! You get spoiled rotten.” Not only can there be acceptance and peace but a great deal of pleasure! I choose to approach aging as a natural process. We can do it with grace and dignity or fighting every step.

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