Growing Older Extra: Reader Essay by Diane Thorson

From Minnesota Alumni Magazine Winter 2017

W2017_GrowingOlderExtraDianeThorson_Inline300 Over the past two years, the caregiver role and my own health issues have become more real. The challenge of balancing a full time job and coordinating care for my spouse, sister, mother-in-law, and myself brought to the forefront the reality of the aging tsunami.

When I was in graduate school at the U of M, one assignment was to project how health care would change in the next 10 years. Our team projected the system would become so complex that persons would need a nurse to help them navigate it. Little did I know how true that would be.

At 63, I am pleased to be a part of conversations with my loved ones and their clinicians. What do they value? What is important to them? I see the value of having a trusted primary care provider or internist who is willing to tell us the odds of returning to current function if CPR is provided and to write do-not-resuscitate orders. Technology enables individuals to self-monitor blood pressure, weight, glucose, and medication. Decisions are made based on data rather than trial and error. My loved ones are able to remain in their own home. Total knee replacement is allowing me to walk without pain.

What will the next 20 years bring?

- Diane Thorson (M.S.N. ’01), Fergus Falls

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