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Ilaina Edison posted today on the Huffington Post on a subject that, on the surface, could sound pessimistic, but which seems essential to optimism: knowing your own goals and using them as the basis for making decisions when things don't go well.

As health care and the health care system grow increasingly--and sometimes frustratingly--complex, we are often faced with a welter of options for treatment and care that are, essentially, equally valid in the abstract. It is only when we overlay on these options our own health care goals that the most appropriate personalized course of treatment becomes clear.

This is acutely important as we age, or as we become responsible for loved ones who are aging. Whenever I discuss elder independence, the first question I ask is: How do you define independence (whether for yourself or for an aging parent)?
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