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The prospect of caring for elderly relatives who may be too old, fragile, or forgetful to manage on their own looms large for millions of women and men who are unprepared for the difficulties such an experience can bring. Written by a daughter of aging parents, this book takes an honest, unflinching look at aging in America, weaving together personal stories with current medical information to trace exactly how social and health care policies are affecting daily lives. Judith Steinberg Turiel addresses such topics as healthy aging and independent living; mental impairment brought on by Alzheimer's, other dementias, and depression; women as caregivers; health care rationing; the power of prescription drug makers; end-of-life care; and prospects for Medicare. Her book clearly demonstrates the pressing need for quality health care for people of all ages—through universal, publicly funded health insurance.
List of Figures
1 Independence in Daily Life: Aging-in-Place or Elsewhere
2 Patterns of Decline: Mind and Matter
3 The Pharmaceutical Age: Taking Our Medicine
4 Health-Care Rationing: Taking It Personally
5 End of Life
6 Conclusions and a Look Ahead: The Baby Boom Takes Stock
Appendix. Resources for Information and Referrals
Judith Steinberg Turiel, a freelance medical writer with an Ed.D. from Harvard, is author of Beyond Second Opinions: Making Choices about Fertility Treatment (1998) and coauthor of Preventing Preterm Birth: A Parent's Guide (1988). She was research liaison for DES Action, worked with the Coalition for the Medical Rights of Women, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for LifeLong Medical Care in Berkeley, CA.
"Our Parents, Ourselves is the best presentation of our aging, and of general healthcare issues that I have ever seen. Tremendously important."—Henrik Blum, M.D., MPH, Professor Emeritus, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley
"This book could well transform how we as a country address aging and caregiving for generations to come."—Lynn Friss Feinberg, MSW, Deputy Director, National Center on Caregiving at Family Caregiver Alliance
"Turiel's book can help elders and their families find humane care in our often inhumane and uncaring health care system."— Steffi Woolhandler, co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program