A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents--and Ourselves


by: Gross, Jane
Format: Hardcover

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Product Description Just a few of the vitally important lessons in caring for your aging parent—and yourself—from Jane Gross in A Bittersweet SeasonAs painful as the role reversal between parent and child may be for you, assume it is worse for your mother or father, so take care not to demean or humiliate them. Avoid hospitals and emergency rooms, as well as multiple relocations from home to assisted living facility to nursing home, since all can cause dramatic declines in physical and cognitive well-being among the aged. Do not accept the canard that no decent child sends a parent to a nursing home. Good nursing home care, which supports the entire family, can be vastly superior to the pretty trappings but thin staffing of assisted living or the solitude of being at home, even with round-the-clock help. Important FactsEvery state has its own laws, eligibility standards, and licensing requirements for financial, legal, residential, and other matters that affect the elderly, including qualification for Medicare. Assume anything you understand in the state where your parents once lived no longer applies if they move. Many doctors will not accept new Medicare patients, nor are they legally required to do so, especially significant if a parent is moving a long distance to be near family in old age. An adult child with power of attorney can use a parent’s money for legitimate expenses and thus hasten the spend-down to Medicaid eligibility. In other words, you are doing your parent no favor—assuming he or she is likely to exhaust personal financial resources—by paying rent, stocking the refrigerator, buying clothes, or taking him or her to the hairdresser or barber. Review “A forthright story and trenchant advice . . . Gross’s chronicle of her mother’s decline is intimate and affecting, and her advice to readers is insightful . . . A Bittersweet Season manages to send its voice aloft, its two parts harmonizing in sorrowful, haunting song.”            -Annie Murphy Hall, The New York Times Book Review “[Gross is] an incisive reporter with a fine eye for detail . . . A Bittersweet Season is sure to become required reading for anyone with an elderly parent who depends on long-term care.”            -Associated Press  “This is tough stuff, and Gross writes movingly about the toll it takes on her and other caregivers. Although her tone is often darkly humorous, she’s serious about documenting the often hidden workload borne by middle-aged daughters and sons.”            -Kate Tuttle, Boston Globe “Nothing can fully prepare you for the overwhelming experience of caring for your elderly parents, but Jane Gross’s new book, A Bittersweet Season, comes awfully close . . . Gross is an incisive critic of our systems and institutions.”            -David Takami, The Seattle Times “An invaluable guide . . . One thing is for certain: Individuals, families, medical professionals, and our society’s institutions have a pressing moral duty to reform our failing systems of care for the fragile old and dying. Jane Gross’s excellent book can help us do better on all these fronts. Middle-aged adult children can read with their parents and help prepare themselves and each other for the inevitable. Families can be encouraged to have those difficult conversations. Jane Gross has taken her own painful experiences and worked hard to give needed help to us all.”            -Sidney Callahan, Commonweal “A Bittersweet Season is sure to become required reading for anyone with an elderly parent who depends on long-term care . . . The time to read the book is before the crises begin to mount.”            -Winston-Salem Journal “Accessible and always compassionate . . . Readers may pick up this very well-written book to learn about taking care of their own ailing parents, but will soon realize that it’s also a wake-up call to become educated in order to make informed decisions about their own inevitable aging.”            -Sandee Brawarsky, The New York Jewish


Product Code: 9780307271822
ISBN: 030727182X
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: 2011-04-26
Number of Pages: 368 pages
Languages: english
Edition: 1
Dimension: 6.42 x 1.5 x 9.41 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds