Best-selling author Frances Fuller offers a unique outlook on aging based on her own experience. Her insights are penetrating and deal with issues that many seniors and their families are concerned about.
WILMINGTON, NC, September 15, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — As we all know, when considering assisted living options, nothing is more important or urgent than the healthcare issue. In Part Two of her recent article titled, “Will I Get The Healthcare I Need?,” Frances Fuller, bestselling author of ‘Helping Yourself Grow Old’, addressed specifically the role of family. Part Two of the article reads, in part:
There are things an elder care community cannot do for its residents. Especially, it cannot take the place of family, not even in the realm of health care.
In an emergency the staff of a care home can call 911 or even provide transportation to a medical facility, but they cannot make decisions affecting the care of the patient. For this reason, every resident in such a home must have an appointed “power of attorney” who can make decisions related to their care. A family relationship in this case is not necessary, though it is common for the responsibility to be in the hands of a son or a daughter, preferably someone who lives nearby and is accessible in a time of need.
The role of family, however, is far more extensive than legal authority.
In routine situations, a family member can be a practical assistant. For instance, when Lucille has an appointment with her doctor, she likes her daughter Beth to take her to the clinic. In fact, the retirement community will provide transportation, but Lucille prefers to have someone with her in the doctor’s office. Beth will hear better and afterwards remember better what the doctor said. She is also a good notetaker. She records things in her phone. Sometimes she reminds Lucille of a question she has forgotten to ask. Of course, both Beth and Lucille know that it is Lucille who needs to relate to the doctor, and the doctor knows to address Lucille, not her daughter. They all agree that Lucille could, if necessary, keep the appointment alone, but Lucille admits that everything is less stressful when she is not alone.
A family member can be a lifter of spirits when no one else knows what to do. Debra knew that her Aunt Betty loved sushi. When the elder home reported that Betty was not eating, Debra delivered sushi. It worked! Betty was suddenly happy, hungry and grateful. She told everybody what a blessing Debra was. She felt remembered, understood, loved.
Sometimes a family member is a useful observer. Sherri noticed little things. Her mother didn’t get any coffee this morning; that’s why she still feels sleepy. Or she didn’t get her face washed; she never feels awake until she has wiped her eyes with a cool, wet cloth. Family knows the little things that matter. Sherri also noticed that ordinary service improved when she was able to show up frequently at the nursing home and mention kindly that her mother’s morning meds were sometimes late.
A family member can be important psychological support to a person who is not well. The sick person may feel that half a dozen strangers have been in her room today; she may get confused about who they are. The presence of a familiar face, the face of someone in whom she has confidence makes everything better.
Sometimes only a family member can deliver comfort to the resident of a memory care ward. No one but his son Juan can do it for Miguel. Juan, who knew what color to paint the walls of his apartment to help his dad feel at home, comes often, bringing a game Miguel likes to play. Without the distraction, Miguel will search all day for his wife, who has been dead for years. They eat together, while Juan jokes about everything as he always did at home with his two parents, and his dad eats well, feeling content. Juan is grateful for the help his dad is getting in the care community, and the nurses there appreciate the way he reinforces what they are doing.
In the same memory care unit is a woman whose only daughter had to move to another state and cannot come often. The director of the unit found a way to keep them connected. The daughter calls at an appointed time, and he receives the call on a tablet which he passes to Margaret so she can both talk with her daughter and see her grandchildren. These contacts save Margaret from bouts of depression and restore the glow on her cheeks.
More of Part Two, and the entire text of Part One of “Will I Get The Healthcare I Need?” is available at her website at http://www.francesfullerauthor.com.
Frances Fuller’s book is unique among the many books on aging, because it is personal, while most such books are written from an academic point of view. Most are penned by sociologists, doctors, gerontologists, even the CEO of AARP, and one by a Catholic nun, Joan Chittister. Chittister’s book, ‘The Gift of Years’ is beautifully written, focusing on spiritual values and finding meaning in life. Chittister admits in the preface that she was only 70, which is the front edge of aging, and her book is somewhat abstract.
Atul Gawande’s book, ‘On Being Mortal’, relates medicine and old age, It enjoys high Amazon rankings, in the category of “the sociology of aging.” It contains a great deal of valuable scientific information and shows understanding of the physical and emotional needs of the elderly.
Frances Fuller’s book, ‘Helping Yourself Grow Old, Things I Said To Myself When I Was Almost Ninety’, is an up-close and very personal encounter with aging. It is an uncontrived and firsthand look at her own daily experiences: wrestling with physical limitations, grief, loneliness, fears, and the decisions she has made about how to cope with these and keep becoming a better person. She faces regrets and the need to forgive herself and others and is determined to live in a way that blesses her children and grandchildren.
Frances deals with many common, universal but sometimes private issues in an open, conversational tone. Her confessions and decisions invite self-searching and discussion. She tries to make sense of her own past and to understand her responsibility to younger generations. In the process she shares her daily life, enriched with memories from her fascinating experiences. Her stories and her voice — fresh, honest, irresistible — keep the reader eager for more. The end result is a book that helps create a detailed map through the challenging terrain of old age.
The result of this intimate narrative is that readers laugh, cry and identify with her mistakes and problems. Reviewers have called the book, “unique,” “honest,” “witty,” “poignant,” “challenging” and “life-changing.”
For these reasons it is a book unlike any other book on aging you will ever read. The book can serve as a primer on what lies in store for all of us, from someone who is working through many of these issues. While the book is a perfect fit for book clubs, there are many other individuals and groups who could benefit from the information and ideas in the book:
Those approaching retirement
People who are currently retired
Children of aging parents
Those who have lost a spouse
Retirement community discussion groups
Church groups (men and women)
and a host of others. For group discussions, Fuller has made a set of discussion questions available at her website at http://www.FrancesFullerAuthor.com.
Readers have lavished praise on the new book. One Amazon review stated, “I find myself thinking,’I need to read this again and take notes!’ It’s full of wisdom, humor, and grace. I also have committed to rereading it annually – it’s that important!” Another said, “There is valuable life experience in this book. Helping Yourself Grow Old is truly is a book for all ages, and one not to be missed.” Another stated, “Beautifully written book telling timeless truths, for both the old and the young. Highly recommend this book for anyone who loves to laugh, cry, and learn wisdom from someone who has lived so much life.”
Frances’ prior work, ‘In Borrowed Houses’, has taken three industry awards and has achieved Bestseller status. Frances Fuller was the Grand Prize winner in the 2015 ’50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading’ Book Awards. It received the bronze medal for memoir in the Illumination Book Awards in 2014. Northern California Publishers and Authors annually gives awards for literature produced by residents of the area. In 2015 ‘In Borrowed Houses’ received two prizes: Best Non-fiction and Best Cover.
Critics have also praised ‘In Borrowed Houses.’ A judge in the 22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards called ‘In Borrowed Houses’ ” . . a well written book full of compassion . . . a captivating story . . . “. Another reviewer described the book as “Wise, honest, sensitive, funny, heart-wrenching . . .”. Colin Chapman, lecturer in Islamic Studies at the Near East School of Theology in Beirut said, ” . . . western Christians and Middle Eastern Christians need to read this story…full of remarkable perceptiveness and genuine hope.”
Frances has shared stories about her life in an interview with Women Over 70, and a recording is available on their Facebook page.
Frances Fuller is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at [email protected]. The full text of her latest article is available at her website. Fuller’s book is available at Amazon and other book retailers. A free ebook sample from ‘In Borrowed Houses’ is available at http://www.payhip.com/francesfuller. Frances Fuller also blogs on other issues relating to the Middle East on her website at http://www.inborrowedhouseslebanon.com.
About Frances Fuller:
Frances Fuller spent thirty years in the violent Middle East and for twenty-four of those years was the director of a Christian publishing program with offices in Lebanon. While leading the development of spiritual books in the Arabic language, she survived long years of civil war and invasions.
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