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Eldercare

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  1. 10.9 hrs • 3/10/2015 • Unabridged

    A witty, tender memoir of a son’s journey home to care for his irascible mother—a tale of secrets, silences, and enduring love When George Hodgman leaves Manhattan for his hometown of Paris, Missouri, he finds himself—an unlikely caretaker and near-lethal cook—in a head-on collision with his aging mother, Betty, a woman of wit and will. Will George lure her into assisted living? When hell freezes over. He can’t bring himself to force her from the home both treasure—the place where his father’s voice lingers, the scene of shared jokes, skirmishes, and, behind the dusty antiques, a rarely acknowledged conflict: Betty, who speaks her mind but cannot quite reveal her heart, has never really accepted the fact that her son is gay. As these two unforgettable characters try to bring their different worlds together, Hodgman reveals the challenges of Betty’s life and his own struggle for self-respect, moving readers from their small town—crumbling but still colorful—to the star-studded corridors of Vanity Fair. Evocative of The End of Your Life Book Club and The Tender Bar, Hodgman’s debut is both an indelible portrait of a family and an exquisitely told tale of a prodigal son’s return.

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    Bettyville

    10.9 hrs • 3/10/15 • Unabridged
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  2. 12.7 hrs • 7/15/2012 • Unabridged

    “I didn’t expect this.” No one really expects it, but at some time or another, just about everyone has been—or will be—responsible for giving care, for a sustained period, to someone close to them. Gail Sheehy, who has chronicled every major turning point for twentieth-century Americans, as well as reported on everything from politics to sexuality, knows firsthand the trials, fears, and rare joys of caregiving. In Passages in Caregiving, she takes you by the hand and shows you that you will get through this, and you will do the right things. Sheehy identifies eight crucial stages of caregiving and offers insight for successfully navigating each one. With empathy and intelligence, backed by formidable research, and interspersed with poignant stories of her experience and that of other successful caregivers, Passages in Caregiving addresses the needs of this enormous and growing group. It is sure to become the touchstone for this challenging yet deeply rewarding period in your life journey. Providing invaluable advice and guidance, this book examines the arc of caregiving from the first signs of trouble. Sheehy answers the most important questions to consider: How serious is it? What do I ask the doctor? How will this be paid for? What are our options? At the same time she offers new tips and strategies that you won’t find anywhere else. Most important, however, Passages in Caregiving points out that you don’t have to be alone in this process. Included are countless resources and names of advocacy groups that are there to help even the most complicated of situations, many of which are woefully underutilized. With Gail Sheehy as your guide, Passages in Caregiving is sure to help turn a stressful, life-altering situation into a journey that can be safely navigated and from which everyone can benefit.

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    Passages in Caregiving

    12.7 hrs • 7/15/12 • Unabridged
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  3. 15.6 hrs • 4/26/2011 • Unabridged

    In telling the intimate story of caring for her aged and ailing mother, Jane Gross offers indispensable—and often surprising—advice for the rapidly increasing number of adult children responsible for aging parents. Gross deftly weaves the specifics of her personal experience—a widowed mother with mounting health problems, the attendant collision of fear and ignorance, the awkward role reversal of parent and child, unresolved family relationships with her mother and brother, and the conflict between her day job and caregiving—with a comprehensive resource for effectively managing the lives of one’s own parents while keeping sanity and strength intact. Packed with information, A Bittersweet Season explains which questions to ask when looking for a nursing home or assisted living facility; how to unravel the mysteries of Medicare and Medicaid; why finding a new general practitioner should always be the first move when relocating an elderly parent; how to weigh quality against quantity of life when considering medical interventions; why you should always keep a phone charger and an extra pair of glasses in your car; and much more. It also provides astute commentary on a national health care system that has stranded two generations to fend for themselves at this most difficult of times. No less important are the lessons of the human spirit that Gross learned in the last years of her mother’s life, and afterward, when writing for the New York Times and The New Old Age, a blog she launched for the newspaper. Calling upon firsthand experience and extensive reporting, Gross recounts a story of grace and compassion in the midst of a crisis that shows us how the end of one life presents a bittersweet opportunity to heal old wounds and find out what we are made of. Wise, unflinching, and ever helpful, A Bittersweet Season is an essential guide for anyone navigating this unfamiliar, psychologically demanding, powerfully emotional, and often redemptive territory.

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    A Bittersweet Season

    15.6 hrs • 4/26/11 • Unabridged
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  4. 5.5 hrs • 11/16/2004 • Unabridged

    Ronald Reagan’s daughter writes with a moving openness about losing her father to Alzheimer’s disease. The simplicity with which she reveals the intensity, the rush, the flow of her feelings encompasses all the surprises and complexities that ambush us when death gradually, unstoppably invades life. In The Long Goodbye, Patti Davis describes losing her father to Alzheimer’s disease, saying goodbye in stages, helpless against the onslaught of a disease that steals what is most precious—a person’s memory. “Alzheimer’s,” she writes, “snips away at the threads, a slow unraveling, a steady retreat; as a witness all you can do is watch, cry, and whisper a soft stream of goodbyes.” She writes of needing to be reunited at forty-two with her mother (“she had wept as much as I over our long, embittered war”), of regaining what they had spent decades demolishing; a truce was necessary to bring together a splintered family, a few weeks before her father released his letter telling the country and the world of his illness. She writes as if past and present were coming together, of her memories as a child, holding her father’s hand, and as a young woman whose hand is being given away in marriage by her father; of her father teaching her to ride a bicycle, of the moment when he let her go and she went off on her own; of his teaching her the difference between a hawk and a buzzard; of the family summer vacations at a rented beach house—each of them tan, her father looking like the athlete he was, with a swimmer’s broad shoulders and lean torso. She writes of how her father never resisted solitude, in fact was born for it, of that strange reserve that made people reach for him. She recalls him sitting at his desk, writing, staring out the window, and she writes about the toll of the disease itself, the look in her father’s eyes, and her efforts to reel him back to her. Moving, honest, an illuminating portrait of grief, of a man, a disease, and a woman and her father.

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    The Long Goodbye

    5.5 hrs • 11/16/04 • Unabridged
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