The Old Fool

Author: Robin Avery | | Categories: Assisted Living Facility , Bathing , Care Home , Daily Living Assistance , Dressing , Elder Care , Housekeeping , Independent Living , Laundry , Medication Administration , Personal Care , Retirement Community , Retirement Home , Senior Care , Senior Living

“I believe old age should play a useless role in society-- the role of the fool and thus warrant a unique freedom. Therefore, any social welfare system for the old is a great blessing. It permits them to turn to their true selves. No longer forced to make a living they can enjoy the freedom of fools. They can live outside economic restrictions and simply ‘waste their time…’

Foolishness may in the end lead to psychological liberation. In youth and adulthood we must struggle to adjust socially and become successful… The old fool is no sad idiot but a free person. Young people strive for freedom by escaping to the country and becoming farmers or by wandering the world. Old people achieve this freedom in their foolishness… Old fools may laugh and cry as they wish… The image of the old fool takes the horror away from the deficit model of aging. Growing old becomes rewarding again. In old age, we can rid ourselves of our power, but also of our responsibility.”

From* The Old Fool and the Corruption of Myth*, by Adolf Guggenbuhl-Craig (Spring Publications, 1991)