Elderhood

Elderhood

Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life

Book - 2019
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McMillan Palgrave

As revelatory as Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal, physician and award-winning author Louise Aronson’s Elderhood is an essential, empathetic look at a vital but little respected stage of life.

For more than 5,000 years, "old" has been defined as beginning between the ages of 60 and 70. That means most people alive today will spend more years in elderhood than in childhood, and many will be elders for 40 years or more. Yet at the very moment that humans are living longer than ever before, we’ve made old age into a disease, a condition to be dreaded, disparaged, neglected, and denied.

Reminiscent of Oliver Sacks, noted Harvard-trained geriatrician Louise Aronson uses stories from her quarter century of caring for patients, and draws from history, science, literature, popular culture, and her own life to weave a vision of old age that’s neither nightmare nor utopian fantasy. She challenges not only the way we look at aging but also the way we think and feel about medicine and humanity itself.

Elderhood is for anyone who is, in the author's own words, "an aging, i.e., still-breathing human being."


As revelatory as Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal, physician and award-winning author Louise Aronson’s Elderhood is an essential, empathetic look at a vital but little studied stage of life.

Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019
ISBN: 9781620405468
Branch Call Number: 362.60973 ARO 2019-06
Characteristics: xiv, 449 pages : illustration ; 25 cm

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ggauvin
Jul 23, 2019

For someone who is in their sixth decade of life this was a tough book to read. It is full of insight into who is in store for those of us who are approaching "old age". Louise Aronson is passionate about her vocation in geriatrics, she had devoted her professional life to the care of old people. This comes through clearly in her writing.

Louise Aronson weaves her personal story with clinical studies, scientific research and patient case histories. Some of the stories are heart-breaking, some of the stories will make you cry and there are some that make you smile and laugh. Being old is not a death sentence (no pun intended!). It is clear that most people live out their old age in reasonable good health and live meaningful happy lives and there are others who do not, not unlike that rest of the population.

All in all it is an inspiring book that everyone who contemplates old age, which is all of us, should read.

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