Not long ago, Karl Pillemer had a revelation.
A gerontologist with close to 30 years of experience, Pillemer, who is director of the Cornell Institute for Translational Research on Aging, realized that his research was “entirely focused on older people as problems.”
“It’s something a little bit embarrassing for me,” Pillemer told a crowd at the Harvard Graduate School of Education on Wednesday, as he described his work in areas involving chronic pain, elder abuse, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and problems of family care giving. “I got to a point in this revelation that it seemed like I was writing the ‘Book of Job’ for old people.”
But Pillemer, who is also a professor of human development at Cornell University, remembered that his job also engages him with “vibrant, engaged, healthy, exciting, and active older people.”