When the Time Comes
Families with Aging Parents Share Their Struggles and Solutions
By Paula Span
(Grand Central Life & Style, Hardcover, 9780446581134, 288pp.)
Publication Date: June 2009
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What will you do when you get the call that a loved one has had a heart attack or a stroke? Or when you realize that a family member is too frail to live alone, but too healthy for a nursing home?
Journalist Paula Span shares the resonant narratives of several families who faced these questions. Each family contemplates the alternatives in elder care (from assisted living to multigenerational living to home care, nursing care, and at the end, hospice care) and chooses the right path for its needs. Span writes about the families' emotional challenges, their practical discoveries, and the good news that some of them find a situation that has worked for them and their loved ones. And many find joy in the duty of caring for an older loved one.
There are 45 million Americans caring for family members currently, and as the 77 million boomers continue to age, this number will only go up. Paula Span's stories are revealing and informative. They give a sense of all the emotional and practical factors that go into the major decisions about caregiving, so that readers will be better able to figure out what to do when the time comes for them and their loved ones.
Paula Span spent nearly 20 years at the Washington Post, first as the New York-based correspondent for the Style section, then as a staff writer for the Washington Post Magazine. She has also written for the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Boston Globe, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York magazine, Glamour, Ms., Esquire, Parenting, People, and others. She is currently a contributing writer for the Washington Post Magazine and teaches journalism at Columbia University.
"Paula Span's When the Time Comes offers a realistic look at the challenges of caring for an aging parent that is both hopeful and practical."—Peter Rabins, MD MPH, professor of psychiatry, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, co-author, THE 36-HOUR DAY
"Paula Span has animated the landscape of today's America through the stories of adult children and their parents struggling with the challenges of being old-deciding where to live, understanding the choices that exist, recognizing the sacrifices and rewards families experience along the way. If you are anticipating this journey, or are already on the road, When the Time Comes will give you both perspective and information that will illuminate your way."—President, National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers, Phyllis Mensh Brostoff, CISW, CMC
"A comprehensive and intelligent overview...This book serves as a perfect introduction for individuals anticipating the challenge of eldercare, as well as those in the midst of the experience. The author illustrates through poignant stories of older adults and families the stress, exhaustion and satisfaction woven into the caregiving experience. Warm, clear and refreshing."—Kenneth L. Minaker, MD, FRCP(C), CSC (GM), UE, Chief Geriatrics, Massachusetts General Hospital
"Useful for anyone facing one of the most difficult periods in their lives: how to deal with an aging, ailing parent who needs help inside or outside the home. Through interviews and anecdotes, Paula Span explores the many options available, provides comfort, answers questions, and helps you feel not so alone while making these monumental decisions."—Mary Ellen Geist, author of MEASURE OF THE HEART
Thank you, Paula. I'm going to give a copy of your book to all my children."—Dr. Jane Duhl, SilverPlanet.com