- Laura Fairweather
Longevity vs Being ALIVE; How to "LIVE" Longer
Have you ever wondered how long you will live? Or, how long do you want to live?
Longevity can be broken into two categories:
Quantity of life: The number of years, weeks and days we live with our physical body.
Quality of life: The amount of joy, fulfillment and energy we get by living our life. QUALITY OF LIFE IS WHAT MAKES US FEEL ALIVE!
My question is, without quality of life, how does this affect your desire for quantity of life?
Medicine is often focused on how to “fix” things that don’t work, are broken or diseased. It strives to extend the quantity of time in our lives and puts much less importance and attention to the quality of our daily lives. Thank goodness we have science, technology and medicine to extend our life span. 100 years ago the average male lived to 46 years old, while now the average age is 76 years. But what gets lost with this focus of adding years to our lives is the emotional, spiritual, and mind-body aspects that are the essence of our being. This is truly the space where suffering occurs.
I have spent time with multiple clients that no longer had quality of life but medicine was able to extend their quantity of life. Clients, when able to express themselves, tell me that they have had enough and are ready to pass; they had dealt with pain, loss, lack of purpose and diminished identity.
There is an amazing service for people who face terminal illness called hospice. Hospice services provide care and dignity to a client and it is common to see how this extra attention helps them to be more “alive”. A multi-disciplinary team of physicians, nurses, hospice aides, social workers, therapists, clergy and volunteers work together to address the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of each patient and family. After 6 months on hospice, clients are re-evaluated and may even “graduate” off of the service. I have seen it happen many times. This brings me to ask, what is this telling us about the power of quality of life? Why do we have to wait until the end of our life to have services that add quality and dignity to our health and well-being?
Quantity and quality of life need to go hand and hand whether it is our daily existence or our final hour. Quality of life can drive our longevity and makes up the heart and soul of our being. Isn’t it time we all pay closer attention to the quality of our lives and the lives of those around us?
If you have questions about how to improve the quality of your life, contact me for a free consultation.