Sad news over the weekend, singer Linda Ronstadt has Parkinson’s disease. She told AARP online: “No one can sing with Parkinson’s disease. No matter how hard you try.”
Aging is nowhere as much fun as I thought. Ronstadt at 67 is just two years older than me, and growing old can be a complicated, sometimes shitty experience.
(Illustration found here).
Even if you’re rich and famous.
And AARP is the right vehicle to let on to such nefarious health troubles — and for all kinds of folks our age, the future is shaking, stuttering and using walkers, not rocking-n-rolling.
Ronstadt talked to AARP‘ s music writer Alanna Nash:
“I couldn’t sing,” she told Nash, “and I couldn’t figure out why.
“I knew it was mechanical.
“I knew it had to do with the muscles, but I thought it might have also had something to do with the tick disease that I had.
“And it didn’t occur to me to go to a neurologist.
“I think I’ve had it for seven or eight years already, because of the symptoms that I’ve had.
“Then I had a shoulder operation, so I thought that’s why my hands were trembling.”
“Parkinson’s is very hard to diagnose, so when I finally went to a neurologist and he said, ‘Oh, you have Parkinson’s disease,’ I was completely shocked.
“I wouldn’t have suspected that in a million, billion years.”
The singer also disclosed she walks with the aid of poles when on uneven ground, and uses a wheelchair when she travels.
Shit happens, but when you get older, shit happens, but there’s no real recovery.
I can attest to that — my own health has pretty-much deteriorated the past four years, but in sing-song fashion there’s not much I can do. No insurance, but what does that do? Only provide a temporary respite to body functions reaching the end of their work life.
Not funny in the ha-ha-ha sense, but somewhat comical in the procedures. And all of us boomers who are still around in a decade or so will find things are even more shitty.
From the Washington Post:
The report (from, naturally, AARP), “The Aging of the Baby Boom and the Growing Care Gap,” projects that by 2030 there will be only four potential caregivers available for each person 80 or older, down from a high of more than seven in 2010.
By 2050, when boomers are between 86 and 104, the ratio will drop below 3 to 1.
Currently, about 14 percent of potential caregivers — defined as people 45 to 64 — provide care for someone 80 or older, 9 percent care for someone 60 to 79, and 7 percent care for someone 18 to 59, said Ari Houser, one of the authors.
The “2030 problem,” as researchers have defined it, stems from a combination of factors, including the large number of baby boomers, the fact that boomers had relatively fewer children than earlier generations, and increased longevity for both men and women.
In 2010, the United States had 78 million baby boomers, or people born between 1946 and 1964.
About 60 million will still be alive by 2030 and about 20 million by 2050, according to projections AARP used from REMI, a company that does economic modeling.
There are 42.1 million adults in the United States caring for friends or family members.
Nearly two-thirds of those caregivers are women, and more than 80 percent of the people they care for are over 50, according to the report, which defined the “average” family caregiver as a 49-year-old woman who works outside the home and spends about 20 hours a week caring for her mother without pay.
But two decades from now, there will be far fewer of these caregivers available and more need for them.
“It’s a wake-up call for aging boomers,” said Lynn Feinberg, a senior strategic policy adviser at the AARP Public Policy Institute and an author of the report.
“We’re really moving toward an uncertain future as .?.?. relying on our family and friends to provide long-term care isn’t going to be realistic anymore.”
In other countries with high proportions of older people, more has been done to prepare for their long-term care, said Robyn Stone, senior vice president for research at Leading Age, a national association of aging-services providers.
“Our country is sort of a muddling-through country, and we tend to respond more to crisis situations than long-term planning,” she said.
“We’re right now in the kind of halcyon days of caregiving because we have a lot of caregivers.?.?. . How do you get policymakers to respond to something that’s not till 15 to 20 years from now?”
The current set of asshole policymakers can’t even pass a Farm Bill without shitting bricks, and a big chunk of these so-called policymakers want to shut down the government itself just to defund Obamacare — how do you expect them to take up anything long-term when they don’t even have short-term memories.
And in the album-cover shot above of Ronstadt’s “Silk Purse,” she displayed the country side of rock that was to come. Even Rolling Stone understood the talent, this the last paragraph of a review of “Purse” in June 1970:
In fact, the same goes for the album: it seems as though Linda Ronstadt is really doing the right kind of material.
If she gets hold of some super songs and learns how to sort out the dull material, she could do very well.
Why yes, of course. Four years later came “Heart Like A Wheel,” and Ronstadt’s best music ever — along with the title cut (which included the great Maria Muldaur on vocals), there’s ‘You’re No Good,’ ‘I Can’t Help It if I’m Still in Love with You,’ and J.D. Souther’s “Faithless Love.’
A most-great album I just wore out playing so much — Ronstadt epitomized the south California rock/folk/country sound as displayed by The Eagles, Jackson Browne, and others, including the above mentioned Souther.
Hang tight, Linda, we’re all right in the pod together.