... a holistic, compassionate understanding of the third stage of life ... [Aronson] exposes the default of ageism again and again in her meticulous consideration of medical and family networks, political policy, municipal oversights, capitalist ambition and nearly every other sector of life that comes in contact with (or at the expense of) the elderly ... dynamic, multifaceted and full of wonder. Aronson's writing flexes with vibrant energy as she discusses the ways she has seen the healthcare system neglect the overall well-being of her patients, her colleagues and herself ... Intimidating as it may seem, elderhood becomes welcoming and generous in Aronson's deft care.
... a passionate, deeply informed critique of how our healthcare system fails in its treatment of the elderly ... a vitally important book ... shares some of its DNA with Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal. But unlike the well-known surgeon, Aronson brings to bear some three decades of geriatric practice, a branch of medicine that didn’t even emerge as a specialty in the U.S. until 1978 ... Aronson, who holds a master’s degree in creative writing, is as comfortable drawing on resources outside the field of medicine, quoting poet Donald Hall or novelist Karl Ove Knausgaard, as she is parsing a scientific study. Though the subject of this provocative book is the elderly, its message touches the entire span of human life.
This timely and important publication scrutinizes the problems with our medical care system. It also serves as a memoir for this medical writer, but mostly tells the myriad stories of our elder population and how we are failing this group of people who once were vitally young.
... a serious, useful, and important book. Wedged in between its overwhelming sadness, the book has an upside ... What gives the book its heightened relevance is the striking increase of older people in America and in Western Europe.
... penetrating ... Drawing on intimate, often harrowing case studies of patients and the mistakes made by their doctors (including, painfully, her own missteps), Aronson sleuths out how a callous, clueless medical-industrial complex makes things harder for oldsters in ways small and large ... Less cogent in the sprawling text are her musings on the consolations of 'elderhood,' which don’t convince when placed against the generally grim picture she paints. Still, Aronson’s deep empathy, hard-won knowledge, and vivid reportage makes for one of the best accounts around of the medical mistreatment of the old.
... illuminates the facets of old age through a compassionate, philosophical, and humanistic lens ... The narrative is comprehensive, sprawling, and often depressing and somber ... Nonetheless, the book is beautifully written and offers countless moments of keen insight ... By collectively observing age from diverse perspectives, the author hopes readers (and caregivers) will discover a new appreciation for growing old that is positive, fruitful, and rewarding ... Empathetic, probing, and often emotionally moving narratives on appreciating the power and the pain of aging.