Opinion | Want to Age Well? Here Are Some Ways.


To the Editor:

Re “You May Live a Lot Longer,” by David Brooks (column, June 4):

As a family physician and a student of aesthetic anti-aging medicine for more than a decade, I was very happy to read Mr. Brooks’s excellent column, even though I feel that it’s somewhat “old news.”

There are many medications, techniques and procedures that are used to reverse signs and symptoms of aging. Many of these procedures are regarded as purely cosmetic (Botox). But research has indicated that appearance has a significant impact on health and wellness as we age.

With life spans expanding, these procedures will become even more important in raising the quality of an individual’s life. I hope that articles like Mr. Brooks’s allow us to see that “feeling old” is a syndrome akin to a disease. New advances in medical technology that reverse its effects and signs should be regarded not as catering to patients’ vanity but as essential forms of preventive medicine and health maintenance.

I invite Mr. Brooks to try 21st-century anti-aging.

Sofia Din
Scarsdale, N.Y.
The writer is the author of “Do We Really Need Botox.”

To the Editor:

Thank you, David Brooks, for the encouraging words about living longer. But those prominent people you mentioned in the first paragraph, like Joe Biden and Bob Dylan, are, from my perspective, relatively young.

I am 87 and continue to work as a psychotherapist, and in winter I enjoy downhill skiing. I thank God for good health, and for writers like you for giving us all a very healthy perspective!

Mary Heller
Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

To the Editor:

According to David Brooks, “more time is more life, and more of it will be sweet.” But in many cases, the flip side of physical longevity is cognitive decline. People may be living longer and healthier lives, but we haven’t figured out how to include brain health in that equation.

Almost a third of people over 85 suffer from Alzheimer’s, for which there is no cure. Who wants to live in a nursing home in a physically healthy but totally dependent state? The financial cost is frightening. And speaking for myself, at some point a peaceful death becomes the preferred choice over enduring years of “life” as a victim of this hideous disease.

More time will not be sweet for everyone until this disease is conquered.

Nancy Melia
Duxbury, Mass.

To the Editor:

I am an 85-year-old man. I am very active. I swim an hour a day and walk for another hour. I have two physical ailments that are under control. I eat well, rest well and have an average level of stress.

After I retired as a physician, I found a new, spiritually rewarding profession renovating old-fashioned houses. My concern today is not how much longer I am going to live but rather how I will die. If my mental capacity deteriorates or if I become physically incapacitated, requiring help around the clock, then I prefer to go.

Once I am ready, I hope that my dear ones will help me depart with dignity, prevent me from being a burden to others, surround me with music, Mozart preferably, and celebrate the end of my life with a smile, recalling the abundant good memories we shared.

David S. Cantor
Los Angeles

To the Editor:

There is one documented intervention overlooked by David Brooks: weight training.

At 80, I can bound from bed, maybe not to go biking but certainly to go to CrossFit three days a week to pump iron.

I recently joined a women’s hiking group, and I go out with Rolling Harvest to plant and harvest produce for food banks. I retired at 63 and found the book “Strong Women Stay Young.” Subsequently I bought five-pound dumbbells and got to work.

Today I can deadlift 125 pounds. I feel better and more energetic than I did at 63. I’m planning on 120 years, and why not?

Sandra Cristofori
Titusville, N.J.

To the Editor:

I am writing to express my disappointment over Paul Krugman’s June 8 column, “Yellen’s New Alliance Against Leprechauns.” This is not the first time your columnist has used the word “leprechaun” when referring to Ireland, and I see it as my duty to point out that this represents an unacceptable slur.

I do not go along with Mr. Krugman’s disingenuous excuse that “the Irish have a sense of humor” about his attacks on us. While I am always happy to engage in serious debate about Ireland’s economic performance, derogatory references in a leading newspaper like yours are no laughing matter.

Ireland has been fully engaged since 2013 in the international discussions about corporate tax reform, and we have proactively and diligently reformed our tax code in line with the new international norms agreed to thus far. Further agreement in this area cannot be arrived at through name-calling and national stereotyping.

Daniel Mulhall
The writer is Ireland’s ambassador to the United States.

To the Editor:

Re “Yes, Gardening Nude Is a Thing” (Real Estate, May 30):

I don’t wish to spoil the fun, but the same season that invites gardening in the nude also signals the beginning of tick season in many states. Lyme and other tick-borne diseases are predicted to increase as pandemic-weary people emerge outdoors.

This should not discourage green thumbs from enjoying their yards in a state of nature. The most effective way to prevent these seasonal maladies is a simple head-to-toe tick check at the end of the day.

Vijay Sikand
East Lyme, Conn.
The writer is a family physician.

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