‘A Bittersweet Season’ has been written by Jane Gross….the New York Times expert on the subject of eldercare. Despite her knowledge of ageing, the book charts the personal struggles she faced in learning the enormous gulf between what knowledge she had acquired and what was actually needed for her mother.
The book was given to me by a friend of mine who lives in the US who has just had to experience a time in a convalescent home following an unexpected fall. She has given the book to her daughters as a ‘must’ read. Jane starts by saying…
“this book reflects the experiences of an upper middle class family blessed with financial and professional resources”
What is harrowing is that despite having these resources it was an overwhelmingly stressful experience that resulted in bankrupting the family financially. Although Jane says that it was a bittersweet season because she and her mother were able to reach a conclusion but the reader is left with the feeling that many people would not have survived this experience.
What is also distressing is that this is not an extraordinary experience. It happens to anyone who has a parent who undergoes a long slow decline and does not suffer with any of the headline illnesses.I was inspired. This book shows that we all can have better experiences for ourselves and our families.
Great strides have been made in child care. We need to do the same for elder care.