Coach Pat Summitt announces she has Alzheimers disease and will still coach the Lady Vols

The Philadelphia Inquirer interviewed Jason Karlawish about Pat Summitt's announcement that she has been diagnosed with Alzheimers disease and will continue as head coach of the University of Tennessee women's basketball team. Here's the lead of the story:

"Jason Karlawish, associate director of the Penn Memory Center, was impressed when he heard that 59-year-old Pat Summitt had gone public with her diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and that the University of Tennessee was letting her stay on as its women's basketball coach.

"As the retirement age creeps upward and doctors get better at diagnosing dementia earlier in its course, increasing numbers of people will grapple with how to stay productive as their minds falter. Meanwhile, employers, families, and friends will need to figure out how to deal with workers who may still have a lot to offer but need support......"

***Coach Summitt's story is an excellent case for reflection on the more general issue of how the U.S. and other industrial nations will thrive in the longevity revolution. The U.S., as well as countries like France, Germany and Japan, cannot sideline every older adult who, despite some disability, retains talents. The economics won't allow it. Read more on this in an essay posted on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's August 29th Human Capittal Blog.