I saw an elderly Russian woman in clinic two weeks ago, and through the translator, she asked me, “Why are you asking me all these questions? I’ll die when I die. You can’t fix old.”
I told her that she was right; we can’t fix old, but we can try to address disease. Many people confuse the two, assuming that getting old just comes with certain diseases, like urinary incontinence. It’s not true. Older people are more likely to have hearing loss and worse vision, but some things aren’t so much a product of aging as they are more common in the elderly population.