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Counting On Kindness

by Wendy Lustbader

Seattle mental health counselor Lustbader here compells attention to and sympathy for those who must rely on caregivers for their needs. Stories are related by patients themselves. From incapacitated men and women we learn of the humiliations caused by the loss of autonomy, of the frustrations at not being able to manage on one's own. Accounts from widely different sorts of patients and those who begrudgingly or willingly see to their care provide graphic lessons in sensitivity.

Life Gets Better

by Wendy Lustbader

The acclaimed author of What's Worth Knowing reveals the truth about aging: Old age often offers a richer, better, and more self-assured life than youth. From our earliest lives, we are told that our youth will be the best time of our lives-that the energy and vitality of youth are the most important qualities a person can possess, and that everything that comes after will be a sad decline. But in reality, says Wendy Lustbader, youth is not the golden era it is often made out to be. For many, it is a time riddled with anxiety, angst, confusion, and the torture of uncertainty. Conversely, the media often feeds us a vision of growing older as a journey of defeat and diminishment. They are dead wrong. As Lustbader counters, "Life gets better as we get older, on all levels except the physical."Life Gets Better is not a precious or whimsical tome on the quirky wisdom of the elderly. Lustbader-who has worked for several decades as a social worker specializing in aging issues-conducted firsthand research with aging and elderly people in all walks of life, and she found that they overwhelmingly spoke of the mental and emotional richness they have drawn from aging. Lustbader discovered that rather than experiencing a decline from youth, aging people were happier, more courageous, and more interested in being true to their inner selves than were young people.Life Gets Better examines through first-person stories, as well as Lustbader's own observations, how a lifetime of lessons learned can yield one of the most personally and emotionally fruitful periods of anyone's life. As an eighty-six-year-old who contributed her story to the book noted, "For me, being old is the reward for outlasting all the big and little problems that happen to all of us along life's pathway."The collected stories in Life Gets Better provide a hopeful corrective to the fear of aging aggressively instilled in us by the media. Don't dread the future: The best years of our lives just may be ahead.

What's Worth Knowing

by Wendy Lustbader

Colorful and enlightening vignettes about life by everyday people in their seventies, eighties, and nineties. When social worker Wendy Lustbader was asked to take down the histories of residents in a retirement community, she discovered that "the man with Alzheimer's in room 410" was actually ninety-six-year-old Ole Harlen, a former concert pianist. "The woman who people-watches in the lobby" was really Lila Lane, who eloped to Tijuana with her sweetheart at age sixteen, and who at age seventy-five bemoaned the fact that she could no longer wear high heels. Lustbader gathered these stories and more into What's Worth Knowing, a compilation of unforgettable first-person testimonials on love, truth, grief, faith, and fulfillment by people in their seventies, eighties, and nineties. Israel Grosskoff, for example, describes learning about trust while hiding from the Nazis during World War II. Giuseppe Maestriami passes on child-rearing lessons he discovered through growing prize-winning tomatoes. And Arsene St. Amand talks about the importance of making time for love-which he found for the first time only six months before his death. In What's Worth Knowing, readers can spend time with Ole, Lila, Israel, Giuseppe, and Arsene-and a hundred others, whose wisdom matters all the more because of the way they've acquired it. .

What's Worth Knowing

by Wendy Lustbader

Colorful and enlightening vignettes about life by everyday people in their seventies, eighties, and nineties. When social worker Wendy Lustbader was asked to take down the histories of residents in a retirement community, she discovered that "the man with Alzheimer's in room 410" was actually ninety-six-year-old Ole Harlen, a former concert pianist. "The woman who people-watches in the lobby" was really Lila Lane, who eloped to Tijuana with her sweetheart at age sixteen, and who at age seventy-five bemoaned the fact that she could no longer wear high heels. Lustbader gathered these stories and more into What's Worth Knowing, a compilation of unforgettable first-person testimonials on love, truth, grief, faith, and fulfillment by people in their seventies, eighties, and nineties. Israel Grosskoff, for example, describes learning about trust while hiding from the Nazis during World War II. Giuseppe Maestriami passes on child-rearing lessons he discovered through growing prize-winning tomatoes. And Arsene St. Amand talks about the importance of making time for love-which he found for the first time only six months before his death. In What's Worth Knowing, readers can spend time with Ole, Lila, Israel, Giuseppe, and Arsene-and a hundred others, whose wisdom matters all the more because of the way they've acquired it.

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