My Mother's Hip
Lessons from the World of Eldercare
Publication: Feb 04
Publication: Feb 04
6 x 9
What most of us don't know about the longevity revolution
Some 400,000 hip fractures occur every year, the vast majority among the elderly; all too often these fractures are associated with death or severe disability. After her mother's double hip fracture, Luisa Margolies immersed herself in identifying and coordinating the services and professionals needed to provide critical care for an elderly person. She soon realized that the American medical system is ill prepared to deal with the long-term care needs of our graying society.
The heart of My Mother's Hip is taken up with the author's day-to-day observations as her mother's condition worsened, then improved only to worsen again, while her father became increasingly anxious and disoriented. As both a devoted daughter and a skilled anthropologist, Margolies vividly renders her interactions with physicians, nurses, hospital workers, nursing home administrators, the Medicare bureaucracy, home care providers, and her parents. In the Lessons chapter that follows each episode, she discusses in a broader context the weighty decisions that adult children must make on their parents' behalf and the emotional toll their responsibility takes. Here she addresses the complex practical issues that commonly arise in such situations: understanding the consequences of hip fracture and its treatment, preparing health care proxies and advanced directives, enabling elders to remain at home, and the heartbreaking dilemma of prolonging life.
Like many adult children, Margolies learned her lessons about eldercare in the midst of crises. This book is intended to ease the information-gathering and decision-making processes for others involved in eldercare.
Table of Contents
Foreword – Walter M. Bortz II, M.D.
Introduction: My Mother's Hip
1. Coral Bay Memorial Hospital
"I broke my hips."
Lesson 1. Hip Fracture, the Silent Killer: The New Hip-Fracture Epidemic
2. Sacred Heart Hospital
"She's not in her room. She's in therapy right now."
Lesson 2. Advance Directives or Misdirectives? Interpreting a Parent's Last Wishes
''I didn't think I would live to come home."
Lesson 3. Who Cares? Daughters Care for Their Elderly Parents
4. The Palms at Palm-Aire
"Everyone here is berserk."
Lesson 4. Nursing Homes Are Dangerous to Your Health: The Medical Model for Housing the Elderly
5. Coral Bay II
"You're ready to leave. Your condition is stable."
Lesson 5. Enough Is Enough: Prolonging Living or Prolonging Dying?
6. From LovingCare to Victoria Park
'Yes, we have a Medicare bed."
Lesson 6. I'd Rather Age in Place: Residential Design for Elder Living
7. Boca Raton Medical Center
"Your mother's condition is critical."
Lesson 7. Who Decides? Resuscitation and an Equitable Decision
"I have only my memories."
Epilogue: En Route