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on March 6, 2006
Whether you are a boomer about to face aging or a clinician advising patients, you will age more gracefully by reading this extremely readable and well-written book by one of this country's foremost geriatricians. As in her other books, Muriel Gillick makes the stories come alive in technicolor, which is no easy task when nursing home and senility are the subject matter. And that's exactly the point: Dr. Gillick breaks the aging stereotypes that most of us conjure when thinking about aging. Whether it's preventive medicine, health policy, or just what stance one should have towards growing old, you will walk away with a more informed and humane understanding of what aging means and how we can all live our life's final few chapters gracefully.
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on January 24, 2009
Disregard the 1-star rating. I intended to rate it 5 (best), but I can't find a way to to edit the rating.

This is a very good book with a bad title and a very bad cover illustration. The publisher must have had it in for the author.

It might better have been called "Facing Old Age - Yours Or Your Parents'" As Dr. Gillick uses the term, "Denial of Aging" simply means that pretending you're not getting old doesn't work. "Eternal life," in the subtitle, is not a theological concept but a reminder that, eventually, you will die.

Muriel Gillick is a geriatrician and medical professor whose concern for her patients has turned her into an advocate for the elderly in assisted living facilities and nursing homes. At times she can even be their advocate against their caregivers. It is to caregivers that she addresses her most heartfelt advice. Paraphrasing, it is that ultimately, when hope is gone, it's OK to let go. At the end, the answer to "We can't just let her die", is "Yes, you can."

In the rest of the book, she offers advice to caregivers looking out for their relatives. She considers assisted living and nursing homes to be a continuum. The former, after a time, leads to the latter; meanwhile, the cost increases as the assisted living facility finds - or asserts - the need for added services.

I gave copies of this book to my two sons, who may someday have to be my advocates. I told them that I hope they don't need it for a while and, when they do, they should check to see if Dr. Gillick has updated her advice to deal with our ever evolving health care system.

But until that happens, this is the book I want them to have.
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on April 30, 2006
Denial of Aging is both a call to arms and a personal guide. It connects two themes: 1) most of us will become infirm eventually; 2) when that happens, our medical care system will fail us, often worsening quality of life instead of improving it. Two kinds of failures are Medicare rules that favor institutional care over care at home, and a fixation on (expensive) high tech treatments that have a low chance of success in the infirm elderly, but that carry a high rate of complications. Dr. Gillick shows that we can avoid some of these problems through individual choices, but that others require concerted political action -- for instance, making Medicare more responsive to the needs of the infirm elderly.

After you read this, send it to your legislators.
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on January 23, 2012
I read this book thinking that it would deal with "The Denial of Aging -- Perpetual Youth, Eternal Life, and Other Dangerous Fantasies", but the book is definitely not about these things. Perhaps the title of the book could be "Old Age Sucks, But It Doesn't Have To Be That Way". The author has written an OK white paper on the state of the world for the frail and demented, and has proposed some changes to the laws, the workplace, and the culture of the US. Interesting stuff, a few disturbing facts (example: "Among people over 70 who sustain a cardiac arrest outside the hospital, fewer than 1% survive"), but nothing to do with the photograph on the front cover of the geezer on the little kid's bike. Too bad.
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on December 7, 2008
This book pulls together all of the different components that impact on many of the issues facing aged care today. As a nurse in another country, reading this book gives me an understanding of the challenges and opportunities to come.
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on October 29, 2014
This book helped me to understand and accept my situation as daughter to an aging father who died in hospice at 92. Thank you Dr. Gillick!
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on September 5, 2015
Informative and well written. Some of her suggestions for improving the quality of life for the elderly are unrealistic in terms of cost.
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on September 16, 2014
Compelling perspective on changing our philosophy towards treating disease in elderly.
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on July 10, 2014
The price and for a used book it was in good shape. Thanks!
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on July 12, 2015
I am 65 and needed to read this!
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