In understanding what it is that makes life living - perhaps answering a big part of "Who Are We? and Why Are We Here? the topic of Well-Being comes up.. I helped create and coordinate a Study Group back in 2005 that looked deeply into this definition. Given the continued increase in the amount of Elders ("Sages") in the U.S. and in developed countries around the world, and given my current "Soap Box" priority relating to turning around the way our Sages are viewed and treated from Objects to Untapped Resources, the results of this Task Force seem even more relevant today. Here it is:
A Measure of Well-Being
“When we love a woman we don’t start measuring her limbs.” Pablo Picasso
So, Picasso, what do we measure? What is quality of life, and what is true caring?
A task force was put together in 2015 (with funding help from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid) by the Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA) in Charlottesville, VA, represented by Arthur Rashap and the Eden Alternative (founded and lead by William (Bill) Thomas, M.D. The full roster of the task force is listed at the end of this memo.
Eschewing the declinist’s view of aging, the task force worked from the perspective of ‘old age’ as another stage of human growth and development. The ultimate outcome agreed upon was WELL-BEING. For Elders to fully achieve all aspects of well-being, it is contended that their families, friends, organizations, and ultimately the communities they engage with need also to be experiencing it.
Well-being (n.) a contented state of being
Well-being is the path to a life worth living. It is what we all desire. It is the ultimate outcome of human life. So what are the components of well-being? What do we need to experience contentment? The task force identified seven primary domains of well-being: identity; growth; autonomy; security; connectedness; meaning and joy.
The Domains of Well-Being:
I believe that one of the greatest errors we are making in the U.S. today is the way we hold and treat our older people. They (we) become objects to be cared for, warehoused, and concerned about because of what the price tag of all this carries. How about a 180 degree turnaround and realize that they (we) are perhaps the greatest untapped resource in the U.S. today. How about entering the dialogue about this?
Published by David Goff, ChangingAging Contributor on August 31, 2015
There is something happening, particularly with older people, which I don’t think has been commented upon.
I think that this phenomenon needs to be reported and considered, for the sake of those getting older, and for the sake of everyone who is pursuing genuine happiness. There is an actualization of self that can take place, in the later years, that brings happiness, fulfillment, and most importantly, the kind of unique perspective that can make hope a real thing.
I call this phenomenon “arrival”, and if you keep reading you’ll see why.
In this life I am named Arthur William Rashap. I have lived 79 years with a myriad of experiences that have enabled me to enjoy many worlds and to have met and worked with some special people. I want to share this and have the opportunity to interact with you.