- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
As a doctor of the "oldest old," those patients over 85, San Antonio, Tex., geriatric physician Winakur cares for the "fastest growing demographic segment of our society." He also had to usher his own aged father through the last painful, debilitating years of his life, when he slipped into dementia and became a stranger to himself and his family. In this affecting, thoughtfully composed memoir, Winakur remembers his father as he fully was, a gifted artist whose Depression-era mother would not allow him to go to art school. He was consigned to run the family's pawnshop in Baltimore until the race riots of 1968 destroyed the store and his livelihood. While the author describes his father as someone who seemed to get little enjoyment late in life, it was his father who instilled in his son a love of bird watching. As the author and his father achieve toward the end an intimate, fragile truce, Winakur recalls the long medical journey that brought him to devote himself to the aged, from medical school, where specialization was the rule, to his thriving practice as a local doctor. He touches on many pressing issues within the profession, such as the havoc wrought by managed care, the debate over "quality care" of the elderly, and whether prolonging life at any cost is wise. Probing and intelligent, Winakur's work challenges readers to think hard and deeply about the choices they make in the care of their elders. (Jan.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.