Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life

Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life

by Louise Aronson

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Overview

As revelatory as Atul Gawande's Being Mortal, physician and award-winning author Louise Aronson's Elderhood is an essential, empathetic look at a vital but often disparaged stage of life.

For more than 5,000 years, "old" has been defined as beginning between the ages of 60 and 70. That means most people alive today will spend more years in elderhood than in childhood, and many will be elders for 40 years or more. Yet at the very moment that humans are living longer than ever before, we've made old age into a disease, a condition to be dreaded, denigrated, neglected, and denied.

Reminiscent of Oliver Sacks, noted Harvard-trained geriatrician Louise Aronson uses stories from her quarter century of caring for patients, and draws from history, science, literature, popular culture, and her own life to weave a vision of old age that's neither nightmare nor utopian fantasy--a vision full of joy, wonder, frustration, outrage, and hope about aging, medicine, and humanity itself.

Elderhood is for anyone who is, in the author's own words, "an aging, i.e., still-breathing human being."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620405482
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication date: 06/11/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 26,036
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

Louise Aronson, MD, is the author of A History of the Present Illness and is a geriatrician, educator, and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she directs UCSF Health Humanities. A graduate of Harvard Medical School and the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, Dr. Aronson has received the Gold Professorship in Humanism, the California Homecare Physician of the Year Award, and the American Geriatrics Society Clinician-Teacher of the Year Award, as well as numerous awards for her teaching, educational research, and writing. The recipient of a MacDowell fellowship and four Pushcart nominations, her articles and stories have appeared in many publications, including the New York Times, New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, and Bellevue Literary Review. She lives in San Francisco.
Louise Aronson has an MFA in fiction from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers and an MD from Harvard Medical School. She has won the Sonora Review prize, the New Millennium short fiction award and has received three Pushcart nominations. She is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of California where she cares for diverse, frail older patients and directs the Pathways to Discovery Program, the Northern California Geriatrics Education Center and UCSF Medical Humanities. She lives in San Francisco.

Table of Contents

Conception

Author's note xiii

Birth

1 Life 3

Childhood

2 Infant 13

Memories

Lessons

3 Toddler 24

History

Sick

Assumptions

4 Child 41

Houses

Resurrection

Confusion

Standards

Other

5 Tween 63

Normal

Different

6 Teen 75

Evolution

Perversions

Rejuvenation

Gaps

Choices

Adulthood

7 Young Adult 105

Trauma

Modern

Indoctrination

Mistakes

Competence

Shame

Bias

8 Adult 137

Oblivious

Language

Vocation

Distance

Values

Truth

Biology

Advocacy

Outsourced

Zealot

9 Middle-aged 192

Stages

Help

Prestige

Complexity

Combustion

Sexy

Disillusionment

Priorities

Sympathy

10 Senior 241

Ages

Pathology

Communication

Freedom

Backstory

Longevity

Childproof

Reclamation

Elderhood

11 Old 273

Exceptional

Future

Distress

Worth

Beloved

Places

Comfort

Tech

Meaning

Imagination

Bodies

Classification

12 Elderly 324

Invisibility

Duality

Care

Education

Resilience

Attitude

Design

Health

Perspective

13 Aged 363

Time

Nature

Human

Consequences

Acceptance

Death

14 Stories 397

Coda

Opportunity 403

Acknowledgments 405

Notes 407

Bibliography 433

Index 436

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