My Mother, Your Mother: Embracing "Slow Medicine," the Compassionate Approach to Caring for Your Aging Loved Ones

Overview

Thanks to advances in science and medicine, our parents are living longer than ever before. But our health-care system doesn't perform as well when decline eventually sets in. We want to do our best as our loved ones face new complications—more diseases and disabilities—demanding further need for support and careful judgment, but the choices we have to make can seem overwhelming.

Family doctor and geriatrician Dennis McCullough recommends a new approach: Slow Medicine. Shaped by...

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My Mother, Your Mother: What to Expect As Parents Age

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Overview

Thanks to advances in science and medicine, our parents are living longer than ever before. But our health-care system doesn't perform as well when decline eventually sets in. We want to do our best as our loved ones face new complications—more diseases and disabilities—demanding further need for support and careful judgment, but the choices we have to make can seem overwhelming.

Family doctor and geriatrician Dennis McCullough recommends a new approach: Slow Medicine. Shaped by common sense and kindness, it advocates for careful anticipatory "attending" to an elder's changing needs rather than waiting for crises that force acute medical interventions—thereby improving the quality of elders' extended late lives without bankrupting their families financially or emotionally. This is not a plan for preparing for death; it is a plan for understanding, for caring, and for helping those you love live well during their final years.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times
“A valuable book, chilling and comforting in equal measure. A similar book directed at fast doctors, fast hospital administrators and fast insurers might be the next welcome stride backward down the path.”
Maclean's
“Full of advice on how to get involved in [your parents’] care, and the kind of conversations you should have with their doctors. It’s also a warning about the medical profession’s alarming tendency toward ‘poly-pharmacy.’”
St. Petersburg Times
“Appreciation of...My Mother, Your Mother...will, I think, depend on where you are on life’s highway. If...your parents are still living, this geriatrician’s guide to stepping in as escort, caregiver and advocate for your parent’s final journey will probably be comforting in its compassion and detail.”
Jane Gross
“As valuable a resource as any I’ve found.”
New York Times
“A valuable book, chilling and comforting in equal measure. A similar book directed at fast doctors, fast hospital administrators and fast insurers might be the next welcome stride backward down the path.”
St. Petersburg Times
“Appreciation of...My Mother, Your Mother...will, I think, depend on where you are on life’s highway. If...your parents are still living, this geriatrician’s guide to stepping in as escort, caregiver and advocate for your parent’s final journey will probably be comforting in its compassion and detail.”
Maclean's
“Full of advice on how to get involved in [your parents’] care, and the kind of conversations you should have with their doctors. It’s also a warning about the medical profession’s alarming tendency toward ‘poly-pharmacy.’”
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061243035
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/27/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 135,786
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Dennis McCullough, M.D., has been a family physician and geriatrician for thirty years. He is the co-author of The Little Black Book of Geriatrics, and he lives with his wife, the poet Pamela Harrison, in Norwich, Vermont.

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Table of Contents

Preface xi

First Things: The Foundation of a New Family Understanding 1

The Eight Stations of Late Life

Station 1 Stability "Everything is just fine, dear." -Mom 17

Station 2 Compromise "Mom's having a little problem." -Dad 35

Station 3 Crisis "I can't believe she's in the hospital." -Sister 74

Station 4 Recovery "She'll be with us for a while." -Rehabilitation Nurse 106

Station 5 Decline "We can't expect much more." -Visiting Nurse 131

Station 6 Prelude to Dying "I sense a change in her spirit." -Nurse in Long-Term Care 170

Station 7 Death "You'd better come now." -Hospice Nurse 193

Station 8 Grieving/Legacy "We did the right things ..." -Brother 214

Epilogue 223

Appendix I Slow Medicine Websites 227

Appendix II Slow Medicine Reading 229

Appendix III Slow Medicine Cinema 231

Bibliography 235

Acknowledgments 247

Index 253

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