In this book, author and biologist Marcy Houle shares her personal journey of caring for her father, a surgeon, who developed Alzheimer's disease, and later her mother, who succumbed to other medical conditions. Like many children of aging parents, Marcy often felt powerless traveling this sad trajectory-watching them fall through the cracks of a fragmented and confusing healthcare system, where professionals often wrote off their symptoms as "just old age."
The tragic secret? According to coauthor and geriatrics physician Elizabeth Eckstrom, these symptoms frequently are not "just old age." Rather, the problem is that the current healthcare delivery model for older people is ill-equipped to provide the comprehensive, person-centered care seniors need. Today, thousands of aging people face unnecessary suffering, hospitalizations, nursing home stays, and even death due to complications that could have been prevented or treated.
The Gift of Caring reveals these pitfalls and provides families with tools they can use to avoid them. Dr. Eckstrom shares professional medical insights into what Marcy could have done to safeguard her parents and shows how we can become our loved one's best advocate.
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