2. Growing Old and Independence
In our society, childhood is full of gaining
As a part of growing up, it is expected for
children to slowly learn to take steps on their
own and gain the freedom required for
3. The World of Adulthood
On my 16th birthday, I was ushered into the
new world of driving, my 18th Birthday
introduced me to the world of adulthood by
gaining the right vote, and my most recent
experience at college has enabled me to live
on my own.
4. The World of Adulthood
As I experienced each of these important
milestones, my father always made it a point
to reiterate one of his favorite sayings: “With
more freedom comes more responsibility.”
5. The World of Adulthood
Thus, getting my license also meant paying
for gas, turning 18 meant getting a job, and
coming to college meant learning to cook
and paying rent on time.
6. The World of Adulthood
Recently, I was introduced to another huge
milestone in my life, turning 20. I felt a mix of
excitement, but also a bit of disappointment
as I realized I am no longer a teenager.
As I dwelled on this fact, I also thought of my
94-year-old great grandmother.
7. The World of Adulthood
I thought about all she had lived through:
The Great Depression, 2 World
weddings, funerals, birthdays, and holidays.
I also thought about her independence.
8. Family Maters
My family faced a number of challenges in
caring for my great grandmother. One of the
hardest things my grandfather said he ever
had to do was take her car keys away from
9. Family Maters
For a while, she was upset with him and
refused to stop driving. But eventually, she
turned in the keys.
10. Family Maters
Until this year, she continued to live in her
own home with caregivers working around
the clock to help with cooking, cleaning,
bathing, and medication.
11. Millions Growing Older
My great grandmother’s story is not unique.
With the baby boomer generation rapidly
reaching retirement, this problem is affecting
a large portion of the population.
12. Millions Growing Older
The NY Times states, “People 85 and older
are the fastest-growing age group; by 2020,
there will be 6.6 million people in that age
13. Millions Growing Older
Millions of senior citizens and their families
are learning to adapt to the changes of
growing older, but this is a gradual and
14. Millions Growing Older
The elderly must adapt to several new
circumstances in their lives including
growing ill, feeling lonely, accepting death,
and becoming dependent.
Among these circumstances, accepting
dependence can actually be more difficult
than accepting death.
15. Millions Growing Older
According to a survey conducted by The
National Disabled Living Foundation
Charity, “75% of people feared getting ill and
becoming dependent while just 29% feared
16. Freedom From Responsibility
In our society, it is common to assume
children gain independence as they grow old
and adults lose independence as they grow
17. Freedom From Responsibility
When I think of my great grandmother, I
sometimes wonder if she was really stripped
of her independence when we took her car
keys, or if somehow she was actually
liberated from a sense of responsibility.
18. Freedom From Responsibility
If my dad is right, and more freedom means
more responsibility, then does less freedom
somehow mean less responsibility?
19. Freedom From Responsibility
While my great grandmother could no longer
drive on her own, she could now enjoy
spending time with one of her children as
they drove her to the grocery store.
20. Freedom From Responsibility
Being cared for doesn’t necessarily include
losing independence; instead, being cared
for includes gaining more time with your
family and saving more time for yourself.