Age Speaks for Itself: Silent Voices of the Elderly

Age Speaks for Itself: Silent Voices of the Elderly

Age Speaks for Itself: Silent Voices of the Elderly

Age Speaks for Itself: Silent Voices of the Elderly


This is the long awaited third book in Tom Koch's trilogy on aging, Age Speaks for Itself. Mirrored Lives was a detailed first person account of geriatric illness from the perspective of the caregiver. It was followed by A Place in Time; here the issue of elder care was more generally considered from the perspective of other care givers. Age Speaks for Itself presents a radical new view of longevity based not on academic theory or social prejudice. Koch's latest critique and perspective are drawn from eleven life histories, narratives of age which are the core of his argument and this book.


What's in a man's age? He must hurry more, that's all; cram in a day what his youth took a year to hold.

Henry W. Longfellow, 1877

For more than forty years, Sherry Busch has been the moving force behind a series of programs for seniors in the Toronto area. Beginning as an employee of the city's parks and recreation program, she remains an activist for fragile seniors now her contemporaries. the recipient of numerous awards, she currently supervises, in a volunteer capacity, a summer parks program in East Toronto that hosts seniors from regional nursing homes as well as the immediate neighborhood. We first met in 1990 and have been friends ever since, getting together occasionally for coffee and the gossip we both enjoy.

One medical note is required as a preface to her story. in it she is at pains to point out that her biliary cirrhosis is "not from drinking." in this she is correct. It is a liver disease occurring when bile improperly processed by the liver seeps into the skin, causing, among other symptoms, intolerable and constant itching. Its cause is unrelated to alcoholism.

Some of us are afraid to die, very much afraid to die. My own mother didn't want to die. She was the best woman who ever stepped on two feet. Whether she was afraid of the Other Side or she just didn't want to leave us, I'll never know. But I do know my mom didn't want to die. My dad, he didn't give a darn. He said to me, "Oh, there's adventure on the . . .

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