Please select your preferred region. Dec 11, Magdalen rated it really liked it. Now that you’ve added something to your bag, you can continue to the checkout, or keep shopping! Half the patients in an acute care hospital are over the age of sixty-five. We must plan for a future when more of us will be old, Hitchcock argues, with the aim of making that time better, not shorter. It is not a pretty sight.

Open Preview See a Problem? His health had declined considerably since I last saw him at the beginning of the year, in a different hospital. If you have noticed an incorrect price, image or just something you’d like to tell us, enter it below. At the same time, the geriatricians — specialists in the care of the elderly — did not as a rule work in acute hospital units. On caring for the elderly. While we rightly seek to curb treatment when it is futile, harmful or against a patient’s wishes, this can sometimes lead to limits on care that suit the system rather than the person.

Apr 06, MargCal rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: No trivia or quizzes yet.

Dear Life: On Caring for the Elderly: Quarterly Essay 57 by Karen Hitchcock ·

Later, when recalling how her grandmother stopped breathing in her arms, she concludes the anecdote quarter,y this quietly devastating sentence: I’d give this 10 stars if I could!

Study after study has shown that the frail elderly do better in wards dedicated to their care — wards with nurses and doctors and allied health practitioners who know how to care for them.

The renal registrar would say shortness of breath was not a kidney problem. I planned to be a neurologist and see all the patients who mistook their wives for hats. Most of the patients now entering hospitals suffer from more than one physical problem; they are older, and have complex social circumstances that need to be addressed.


All general medical departments are under enormous pressure to treat and discharge patients as soon as possible.

Dear Life: On Caring for the Elderly

When did caring for them move from being our privilege to a burden? Seems obvious, but after having read this essay, clearly it’s a step which is still often ignored. My dad made an advanced health directive to uitchcock at home with minimal intervention.

quarterly essay 57 dear life on caring for the elderly by karen hitchcock

I’m a great admirer of her column in the Monthly, and Dear Life is a rigorous and compelling essay. The old doubly incontinents. She is very persuasive that very often patient choices are not choices at all, that we are ‘guided’ down a “least cost” path to see ourselves as burdensome so that we convince ourselves, against or preferred wishes, that we should take the death-hastening path.

Australia in the New Asia. She sees beyond the wrinkly skin, chronic illnesses and frailties to the person beneath, and I love her for it.


As Hitchcock writes, his case is typical of end-of-life care: While we rightly seek to curb treatment when it is futile, harmful or against a patient’s wishes, this can sometimes lead to limits on care that suit the system rather than the person. Dear Life is a landmark essay by one of Australia’s most powerful writers. It sets out principles that can be used in any health care situation.

A powerful and important essay. On caring for the elderlythe award-winning story collection Little White Slips and a regular contributor to The Monthly.

Soon they will all be gone. It is a masterful, timely achievement that will prompt much soul-searching in its readers and conversations among their friends and family, for this is one topic that cannot be avoided.

Quarterly Essay Dear Life: On Caring for the Elderly – Karen Hitchcock – Google Books

Apr 22, Trish rated it it was amazing. A person may have only 6 months of bedridden life left, but who is to say that won’t be one of the most fulfilling and important 6 months for that person and their friends and family in terms of the final stage of these relationships?


It is a sector in dire need of large reform. It sadly shows how our grandparents are all too often poorly treated and overlooked in our hospitals and by our health care system and in many cases shunted away into some neglected dark corner a An essay which points out many of the problems which plague our view and treatment of the elderly and how they are often seen as a burden on hospital resources and on the economy, rather than a complex individual in need, who may still enjoy and lead a fulfilling life despite their old age and maladies.

One day death will claim us all, and it is important we prepare ourselves and our loved ones for this, emotionally, spiritually and physically.

quarterly essay 57 dear life on caring for the elderly by karen hitchcock

And most of the time they perform their function: And we must change our institutions and society to meet the needs of an ageing population. Ours is a society in which ageism, often disguised, threatens to turn the elderly into a ‘burden’ — difficult, hopeless, expensive and homogenous. Who will be your doctor? Sep 19, Dylan rated it it was amazing. Although this is written in an Australian context, we are influenced by practices in the US, Kwren and Canada so this is essential reading for people from those qharterly too