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Counting On Kindness Paperback – December 27, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (December 27, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0029195160
  • ISBN-13: 978-0029195161
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #756,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Seattle mental health counselor Lustbader here compells attention to and sympathy for those who must rely on caregivers for their needs. She notes, "The longer an illness or incapacity lasts, the harder it becomes for us to maintain faith in our helper's good will," adding, "most people resist dependence and struggle to maintain a secure sense of identity by asking for as little as they can." Although the author's observations, as well as those from such diverse sources as Proust biographer George Painter and Arthur Kleinman, author of The Illness Narrative , comprise much of the text, these references interrupt the real story, which is related by patients themselves. From incapacitated men and women we learn of the humiliations caused by the loss of autonomy, of the frustrations at not being able to manage on one's own. Accounts from widely different sorts of patients and those who begrudgingly or willingly see to their care provide graphic lessons in sensitivity.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Wendy Lustbader, MSW, is the author of several books and essays that have earned her a national reputation in the field of aging. She is also a popular speaker at conferences throughout the United States and Canada, using storytelling to animate complex subjects. Additionally, she is a skilled psychotherapist, having worked almost twenty years with people from all walks of life at a community clinic in downtown Seattle. Equally passionate as a writer, teacher, and therapist, Wendy brings a social worker's lived experience to her writing, teaching, and service to older people. Currently, she is an Affiliate Associate Professor at the University of Washington School of Social Work in Seattle.

Wendy's publications include two videos. The first, "A Prescription for Caregivers," shows caregivers and those who assist them how to make life better for the giver and receiver of care. In her other video, "Kind Hands," front-line workers learn how to respond to grief and vulnerability. Wendy's first book was co-authored with Nancy Hooyman, Taking Care of Aging Family Members. This is a practical guide to caregiving, with a detailed index to help readers find exactly what they need. Her second book, Counting on Kindness, helps readers to comprehend the complex and often unspeakable feelings which arise when we become dependent on others for help. Her third book is What's Worth Knowing, a collection of pithy insights gathered from older people. Her newest book, Life Gets Better, explores how life improves as we get older, on every level except the physical.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By valerie trueblood on February 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you are a reader who is old or sick, or you take care or someone who is, and you can't find the book you need to keep you going, try to get your hands on this original and beautiful work. It may be shelved with "Psychology" or "Aging," but it is a book of stories, filled with the music of many voices recalling what used to make life rich, and confiding what does so now. You'll be surprised at the smallness of some of the things that bring satisfaction and joy to someone dependent on others for help, and you'll recognize the suppressed impatience of the helper. This is a book that will give weary grown children taking care of ill or demanding parents some moments of genuine illumination. Without jargon and in a calm and almost classical prose, Wendy Lustbader has shown us the story in every life, and made us see ourselves in that chair, alone in a room, watching the door for someone who knows the story exists.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
If you are caring for an elderly parent, or have siblings who are, this book will really help you see what it is like from the parent's perspective. Your heart will open up to your parent when you realize how much harder it is to be dependent on your children as caregivers than to be the busy adult trying to sandwich in a few minutes for the parent. It shifted my whole perspective on what was happening with my mother and allowed me to be open to her and hear her in a way I never have before. I recommend this book both for the parent and the children who are in this situation.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 5, 1997
Format: Paperback
Lustbader gives her readers food for thought. As a person in the helping profession I found her book to give insight and voice to the individual who relies on the help of others. This book is a must read for all folks who work with those who rely on the help and kindness of others.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Hadfield on December 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A lovely book - highly recommended for anyone who has elderly relative, works with seniors and anyone who wants to better understand what it's like to age, the challenges, etc.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It was well written and easy to read; can't say I learned a lot from it but didn't feel was wasted time either.
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