Download How We Die Now: Intimacy and the Work of Dying by Karla Erickson PDF

By Karla Erickson

As we are living longer and die slower and another way than our ancestors, now we have come to count a growing number of on end-of-life caregivers. those employees navigate a altering panorama of previous age and loss of life that many folks have little education to come across. How We Die now could be an soaking up and delicate research of end-of-life concerns from the views of sufferers, kin, doctors, and help staff.

Karla Erickson immersed herself within the lifestyle of employees and elders in a Midwestern group for over years to discover very important questions round the subject matter of “how we die now.” She strikes readers via and past the various fears that attend the social of previous age and divulges the pleasures of dwelling longer and the prices of slower, occasionally mindless methods of dying.

For we all who're grappling with the “elder boom,” How We Die Now bargains new methods of brooding about our longer lives.

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Example text

I think of the stories and experiences gathered here as offering a sociological handbook on how we age and die now, sort of like a What to Expect When You’re Expecting but for the final years. Expecting death and knowing old age do not need to be depressing. That is what the people described in these pages taught me. Over the last five years as I have journeyed further into the land of old age, I have been frequently surprised at how eager participants are to tell their stories: volunteering in the grocery line, asking for updates about my work, and sending photos and late-night e-mails about their own experiences and memories of assisting others in their final years, days, and hours.

While no study has shown consistently worse treatment in for-profit versus not-for-profit facilities, many Americans have concerns about mixing care of dependent elders with the profit motive. Fears that should be specific to for-profit institutions are often quite diffuse, spreading easily to all elder care institutions, regardless of the profit arrangement. Those who build or run elder care facilities labor against a cultural imagination that is very negative toward the work that they do, and that cultural imagination continues to be fed by reporting that fuels worst-case fears.

Examining and dismantling these fears may be a crucial step toward a systematic, intentional approach to enjoying our longer lives and slower deaths. The Short, Sordid History of Nursing Homes Part of the cultural fear surrounding elder care facilities may arise because elder care facilities are relatively new institutions, having grown exponentially in the last one hundred years. Over that time, nursing homes, as they have come to be called, have been plagued, rightly or wrongly, by bad press and a series of exposés on and investigations into abuse and neglect.

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