Thursday, September 27, 2007

An Insider's View

I love a good story. I particularly love those stories that make me think, over and over, for a good, long time.

Celia Berdes, a researcher and author, reviewed the new book "Dancing with Rose" with such enthusiasm that I'm going directly to Amazon and ordering it:

Dancing with Rose: Finding Life in the Land of Alzheimer's (York: Viking, 2007), a new book by Lauren Kessler, is the best book yet written on the lives of old people in residential care and the people who care for them,
Celia writes in today's Quality Jobs/Quality Care e-newsletter.

Here's more of her review:

Dancing with Rose leads us to this inescapable conclusion: that caring aptitudes and attitudes of skilled direct care workers are the most important components of high quality care. In a call for systemic reform, Kessler asks us to think about our own aging: ''If I do need help when I get older, if it becomes impossible for me to live independently, how do I want to live? Do I want to be cared for by an overworked, underpaid woman with so many chores to accomplish on her shift that she can barely spare a minute to talk to me? The important question is whether I--whether any of us--have the gumption, foresight, creativity, fearlessness, imagination, whatever it takes to do something about eldercare before it's our turn.''

Let me echo this. My theme, and I'll repeat it every chance I get, is to simply say that this is a personal issue for all of us. Who will care for my mother - for yours - when the day comes? Who will, eventually, be caring for you and me?

That's about as personal as it gets.

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