By Suzanne Besser
Dr. Atul Gawande, whose life-affirming and important book ‘Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End’ challenges readers to think about how they can transform the later chapters of their lives, will talk February 13 at the 15th year celebration of the Beacon Hill Village’s founding.
Dr. Gawande is a renowned surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, public health innovator, masterful author and loving son of a physician father who struggled to maintain his autonomy in the face of a fatal disease. In his talk ‘Being Mortal’s Villages: The Value of Community and Choice as We Grow Older,’ he will discuss aging, living life with purpose and dignity, and making our last days more comfortable and meaningful in our own homes.
Community and choice, one of the life-changing concepts in ‘Being Mortal,’ are the underlying principles of Beacon Hill Village, whose founders chose to remain in their own homes as they age. To accomplish this, they created a ‘Virtual Village’ in 2002 that aims to improve the experience of aging by offering people over 50 the option of choosing how and where to live as they age. That concept soon became a ‘village movement’ that spread across the country and abroad. Currently there are 350 villages open and in development.
Robin Young, host of NPR’s “Here & Now” will moderate the conversation with Dr. Gawande, which will be held at Rabb Hall at the Boston Public Library followed by a reception at the Lenox Hotel at 61 Exeter Street. It will also be simulcast to 155 Villages in 35 states and the Virgin Islands. Many are sending representatives to Boston for the celebration.
Beacon Hill Village, a non-profit, membership organization, maintains a small office at 74 Joy Street in Boston and is committed to using community resources to fulfill its mission of improving the experience of aging.