If you’re not familiar with Frontline, it would be my pleasure to introduce you to the program. The PBS program allows you to view many of the episodes for free. I recently watched one report that really moved me.
It’s hard to live in the US and avoid hearing about the aging of the baby boomer generation. It’s also hard not to know someone who falls into that category. Some of my first exposure to the issue was through the work of the ARC and their aging resources division. It has always seemed like a problem with a need for attention but it was one of those things where I passed the buck and thought “someone else will work on that.” This episode really affected me and made me, for the first time, consider what I could be doing to work on this. The ARC definately presents this as a planning issue but is obviously also a health issue. Is this an area of focus for me?
Yesterday I had a phone call with La Universidad de Los Andes about some projects I could work on this summer in Bogota. They all deal with the drastic changes to Bogota’s built environment and the affect on physical activity and quality of life of the residents. One project focuses on older adults in particular. Is this my chance to enter into the arena of __________ (not sure what to call it)? It is a solid possibility.
Notably, the medium of television can tend to amplify extremes in order to engage the viewer. Nonetherless, the future of our aging population is an interesting and important problem (read opportunity for some) and I recommend you try and watch this episode. Maybe it’s one of these self-interested realizations that we reach in order to feel better about ourselves while at the same time looking out for ourselves. Maybe I feel guilty about not being near my parents and I worry about them. Maybe this show will change the way you think about this issue.