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Elderhood

Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life

Louise Aronson

Bloomsbury Publishing

Elderhood Download image

ISBN10: 1620405466
ISBN13: 9781620405468

Hardcover

464 Pages

$30.00

CA$40.00

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Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction

For more than 5,000 years, "old" has been defined as beginning between the ages of 60 and 70. That means most people alive today will spend more years in elderhood than in childhood, and many will be elders for 40 years or more. Yet at the very moment that humans are living longer than ever before, we've made old age into a disease, a condition to be dreaded, denigrated, neglected, and denied.

Reminiscent of Oliver Sacks, noted Harvard-trained geriatrician Louise Aronson uses stories from her quarter century of caring for patients, and draws from history, science, literature, popular culture, and her own life to weave a vision of old age that's neither nightmare nor utopian fantasy—a vision full of joy, wonder, frustration, outrage, and hope about aging, medicine, and humanity itself.

Elderhood is for anyone who is, in the author's own words, "an aging, i.e., still-breathing human being."

Reviews

Praise for Elderhood

“A passionate, deeply informed critique of how our healthcare system fails in its treatment of the elderly . . . Vitally important . . . Though the subject of this provocative book is the elderly, its message touches the entire span of human life.”BookPage

“Eloquent and impressive . . . A landmark work . . . In a world of increasing numbers of older adults, Aronson's highly readable, absorbing, and thought-provoking book should serve as a guide for how our culture must change in order to provide a future in which all of us can age well throughout the span of our lives.”Changing Aging

“[A] penetrating meditation on geriatrics . . . 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.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“An examination of aging and the human condition encompassing poignant stories and the viewpoints of medical experts, writers, historians, and scientists . . . Empathetic, probing, and often emotionally moving narratives on appreciating the power and the pain of aging.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Monumental . . . Elderhood, like the life station it studies, is dynamic, multifaceted and full of wonder. Aronson's writing, too, flexes with vibrant energy as she discusses in lucid, candid detail 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.”Shelf Awareness

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Louise Aronson

Louise Aronson, MD, MFA, is a leading geriatrician, educator, and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she directs UCSF Medical Humanities. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Aronson has received the Gold Professorship in Humanism in Medicine, the California Homecare Physician of the Year Award, the American Geriatrics Society Clinician of the Year Award, and was named one of Next Avenue’s 2019 Influencers in Aging. She is the author of A History of the Present Illness and her articles and stories have appeared in many publications, including the New York Times, the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet, and The Atlantic. She lives in San Francisco.