First, what this book is not about. It is not about prolonging life or about stopping aging. It is not about prolonging life or about stopping aging. There are plenty of people gainfully employed in that industry. They also age and die just like the rest of us. You can easily buy a recipe or a magic potion for extending your life.
Rather, this little book about a BIG subject is for the purpose of shedding light on the epidemic of having life left over after the reasons for living are gone. The life left over is purely physiological. The vital signs are there. But no vital, purposeful, and meaningful life exists, as it once did.
It is about the fact that all human ailments have both medical and psychosocial components in some combination. People who are afflicted live in some society. They are social creatures. They are persons among other persons. Meanings, like minds, are socially created and maintained. We are who we are because others are who they are. All human ailments necessarily have a psychosocial component. We are aware of who we are because others corroborate our identity, an intangible process unreachable by the methods of science.
Uniquely, some of us become sick. It is the person who is sick, not this or that organ of the body. Physicians are trained to cure diseases, not to understand those people who are afflicted by something that jeopardizes their lifestyle. Their lifestyle is socially and culturally derived. It is always a psychosocial factor in their illnesses, just as biological factors can be a precursor, a component, or a consequence. And, lest it be forgotten, people imitate people.
The BIG subject here is the increasing epidemic. People live longer than they used to. Life expectancy in the early years of the twentieth century was 45 years. Today it is more than 70 years. People lose their relevance to society because they are no longer an indispensable cog in the social machinery. When they do, they begin to degenerate. What we focus upon in this little book is irrelevance to society out of which emerges cognitive degeneration and all of its concomitants and consequences.
That’s what we examine here. And we offer some very innovative methods for ameliorating the psychosocial aspects of the problem. We omitted the references in order to make this little book more understandable. Sooner or later, most of us will face the problems that today accompany aging. When we do, it will help to understand that they are treatable non-medically.