A Memoir of Aging in America
186 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
Sue Petrovski has always been capable, thoughtful, and productive. After retiring from a long and successful career in education, she published two books, ran an antiques business, and volunteered in her community. When her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and until her death eight years later, Petrovski served as her primary caregiver. She even cared for her husband when he also succumbed to dementia.
However, when Petrovski's husband fell ill with sepsis at the age of 82, it threw everything into question. Would he survive? And if so, would she be able to care for him and manage the family home where they had lived for 47 years? More importantly, how long would she be able to do so? After making the decision to sell their house and move into a senior living community, Petrovski found herself thrust into the corporate care model of elder services available in the United States.
In Shelved: A Memoir of Aging in America, she reflects on the move and the benefits and deficits of American for-profit elder care. Petrovski draws on extensive research that demonstrates the cultural value of our elders and their potential for leading vital, creative lives, especially when given opportunities to do so, offering a cogent, well-informed critique of elder care options in this country.
Shelved provides readers with a personal account of what it is like to leave a family home and enter a new world where everyone is old and where decisions like where to sit in the dining room fall to low-level corporate managers. Showcasing the benefits of communal living as well as the frustrations of having decisions about meals, public spaces, and governance driven by the bottom line, Petrovski delivers compelling suggestions for the transformation of an elder care system that more often than not condescends to older adults into one that puts people first—a change that would benefit us all, whether we are 40, 60, 80, or beyond.
ONE: An Unexpected Page of Life
TWO: Sideswiped by Age
THREE: Choosing Our Tomorrow
FOUR: Turning the Page
FIVE: A Society of Strangers
SIX: There Is Life after Sixty-Five: for God’s Sake!
SEVEN: Reflecting on the Mountain
EIGHT: The Employment of Being Old
NINE: Last Times: Last Thoughts
"Sue Matthews Petrovski's, Shelved, A Memoir of Aging in America is a must-read for older people "sideswiped by age" and considering a life-changing transition from their established homes into independent or assisted living. A valuable short read (165 pages) for adult children who want to be informed supporters in their parents' transition. Shelved provides an important perspective for administrators, directors and activity personnel in independent and assisted living who are committed to making lives better for their residents." —Brenda Avadian, M.A., www.thecaregiversvoice.com