Being Mortal By Atul Gawande

Being Mortal shows how the ultimate goal is not a good death but a good life—all the way to the very end. 

RATING: 3.7/5

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  • “ Old age is not a battle. Old age is a massacre.” -Philip Roth 
  • If time becomes short, what is most important to you?
  • You may not control life’s circumstances, but getting to be the author of your life means getting to control what you do with them. 
  • In America, in 1790, people aged 65 or older constituted less than 2% of the population; today, they are 14%. In Germany, Italy, and Japan, they exceed 20%. China is now the first country on earth with more than 100 million elderly people. 
  • In the course of a normal lifetime, the muscles of the jaw lose about 40% of their mass. 
  • By the age of 60, people in an industrialized country like the United States have lost, on average, a third of their teeth. After 85, almost 40% have no teeth at all.
  • At the age of 30, the brain is a 3 pound organ that barely fits inside the skull; by our 70’s, gray matter loss leaves almost an inch of spare room. 
  • Each year, about 350,000 Americans fall and break a hip. Of those, 40% end up in a nursing home, and 20% are never able to walk again. 
  • In an average retirement community rent runs $32,000 a year. Entry fees are typically $60,000 to $120,000 on top of that. Meanwhile, the median income of people 80 and older is only about $15,000. More than half of the elderly living in long-term care facilities run through their entire savings and have to go to government assistance in order to afford it. 
  • More than 15% of lung cancers occur in non-smokers.
  • You live longer only when you stop trying to live longer. 

  • Courage is strength in the face of knowledge of what is to be feared or hoped. Wisdom is prudent strength. 

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