I was surprised to find this book both emotional and informative. I hope you all got as much out of it as I did! I also finished this book hoping that medical professionals are reading it. It’s definitely a book I think I should pick up again as I confront some of the difficult life events the author discusses. The second half of the book didn’t raise too many more questions for me, but here are the ones I’ve thought of.
- Are you surprised by the impact the addition of animals, children, and/or a little autonomy has on the lives of nursing home residents?
- Do you feel optimistic about the way aging and dying are handled in the American health care system?
- Is there anything in the second half of the book that you found particularly surprising or interesting?
- What did you think of the book overall?Any other thoughts you’d like to share before we wrap up?
Since I’m getting this post done a little late and it’s a busy time of year, I’ll be sure to leave the link-up open into January. We’ll also skip the read-along in January, so I can get on a schedule where we do the book polls a little earlier to give everyone more time to find the book. Look for a February poll in early January!
1. I never would have thought of adding animals or children to nursing home life, because I wasn’t sure that was possible. Even though autonomy was something I thought was obviously lacking in the nursing homes described in the first part of the book, I was unsure how much that was possible too. However, it seems intuitive and unsurprising that these things would improve quality of life and I’m surprised they aren’t standard now that they’ve been shown to work.
2. Mostly yes.Overall, having read the second half of the book, it seems to me that things are generally headed in the right direction. It seems as though there are good nursing homes, doctors, and palliative care options out there. The fact that even doctors had trouble navigating the healthcare system as patients is depressing though.
3. After the first half of the book, I was surprised that there are so many good options out there. However, I’m also surprised that so many less good options still exist, given that there are better, affordable options. I’m unpleasantly surprised by how bad doctors seem to be at giving people realistic survival chances, but pleasantly surprised that more people are taking advantage of palliative care and are able to die at home with their families.
4. I think this was very well written and worthwhile. After my initial surprise that this book relied so heavily on anecdotes, I’m incredibly impressed by how well the author managed to convey the big picture – even if I’d still love more stats!