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Download A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents---And Ourselves Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents---And Ourselves Audiobook, by Jane Gross Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (162 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jane Gross Narrator: Kate Reading Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2011 ISBN: 9781452672090
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In telling the intimate story of caring for her aged and ailing mother, Jane Gross offers indispensable, and often surprising, advice for the rapidly increasing number of adult children responsible for aging parents. Gross deftly weaves the specifics of her personal experience-a widowed mother with mounting health problems, the attendant collision of fear and ignorance, the awkward role reversal of parent and child, unresolved family relationships with her mother and brother, the conflict between her day job and caregiving-with a comprehensive resource for effectively managing the lives of one's own parents while keeping sanity and strength intact. Packed with information, A Bittersweet Season explains which questions to ask when looking for a nursing home or assisted living facility; how to unravel the mysteries of Medicare and Medicaid; why finding a new general practitioner should always be the first move when relocating an elderly parent; how to weigh quality against quantity of life when considering medical interventions; why you should always keep a phone charger and an extra pair of glasses in your car; and much more. It also provides astute commentary on a national health care system that has stranded two generations to fend for themselves at this most difficult of times. No less important are the lessons of the human spirit that Gross learned in the last years of her mother's life, and afterward, when writing for the New York Times and The New Old Age, a blog she launched for the newspaper. Calling upon firsthand experience and extensive reporting, Gross recounts a story of grace and compassion in the midst of a crisis that shows us how the end of one life presents a bittersweet opportunity to heal old wounds and find out what we are made of. Wise, unflinching, and ever helpful, A Bittersweet Season is an essential guide for anyone navigating this unfamiliar, psychologically demanding, powerfully emotional, and often redemptive territory. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • A Bittersweet Season manages to send its voice aloft, its two parts harmonizing in sorrowful, haunting song.”

    New York Times

  • There are no easy answers here, because there are none. A thought-provoking resource for end-of-life care. Kirkus
  • “Kate Reading’s flawless performance…[keeps] the melodrama out of this very personal documentary, [capturing] the author’s determined efforts to arrange the best care for her mother.”

    AudioFile

  • “A heart-wrenching story and an informative guide for those caring for aging parents.”

    Booklist

  • “There are no easy answers here, because there are none. A thought-provoking resource for end-of-life care.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Kennedy | 2/17/2014

    " I can relate to the author as she talks about the trials of dealing with her aging mother, as the elderly woman declines from an assisted living facility to eventually being unable to do much of anything on her own in a nursing home. The book is witty, poignant and insightful. Some parts are repetitious, and it would have been helpful in spots to have fewer details about her own situation and more general information. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 2/17/2014

    " This book provided much insight, empathy, and food for thought. As my siblings and I determine how to do right by our 87-year-old father, this work sheds light on the path that lies ahead. I also begin to appreciate how much we still need to change public policy, not to mention attitudes about Medicaid, to reflect the realities of aging. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Connie Albers | 2/15/2014

    " Every single one of my circles of friends has members dealing with aging-parent issues. I'm sure that the subject matter of this book is only a foretaste of things to come. There was much I didn't know, and much that I learned. Still, I can't help but wonder if some of the observations and issues dealt with by the author would have been different had she had a different kind of relationship with her mother while growing up, one more loving and nurturing. Still, perhaps their mutual detachment made it ultimately easier to face the heart-wrenching situations and decision-making as they evolved. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jane O'keeffe | 2/6/2014

    " Until you are in the same trenches Jane Gross writes about, this book is mildly interesting. When you are there with her,it is a treasure trove of information. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Beverly | 1/7/2014

    " great read for those who are taking care of an elder or know someone who is. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy | 1/5/2014

    " This one is going in my permanent collection! So useful, so timely, so many questions answered & so much food for thought. A must-read if you are a parental caregiver or are likely to be. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kim | 12/24/2013

    " The most important book I have read. A must read if you have older parents or plan on getting old yourself. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Denese | 12/23/2013

    " Since I am the first of the baby boomers, an only child of a mother in her 80's, myself a mother of an only child, this book scared me. I thought I had things somewhat figured out but I was wrong on many counts. This book should be required reading for all potential caregivers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meepspeeps | 12/10/2013

    " 5 stars for this deeply personal critique of how Medicare rules, Medicaid rules and our own fears about death do a disservice to boomers' aging parents. She offers many suggestions while offering a well-written chronology of her mother's decline and death. Everyone with declining parents or grandparents will benefit from her story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jill | 12/8/2013

    " Amazingly helpful, supportive and encouraging! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie | 12/3/2013

    " If you are even thinking of reading this book, as a medical librarian and child of aged parents, let me say - DO IT! Do it NOW! It's absolutely superb. Hard to do a mix of personal story telling and informative help, but she manages. She's a NYT reporter, for gosh sakes. Absolutely superb resource. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat | 11/29/2013

    " Highly recommended if you have an elderly parent to care for, or eventually will, . . . or if you want to see make it easier on your own children. An eye opener and very well written. Certainly made me sit up and pay attention! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peg | 11/11/2013

    " Very helpful and alerted me to many things to watch for as my mother continues her journey. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandy Mann | 8/21/2013

    " Everyone should read this book. Well researched. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alison | 6/16/2013

    " Do yourself a favor - READ THIS BOOK! I wish it had existed when I was caring for my dying mother. Gross provides a wealth of information for navigating Medicare and caregiving. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joey | 12/2/2012

    " A good book to read as we try to understand how our parents are feeling as they move from their homes into assisted living environments. Jane Gross's experience with her mother validates difficult and pretty universal feelings and situations. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Georgette | 11/6/2012

    " This book was hard to read only because of my father is going through. Having said that, I am glad there is a book like this written to help us all through it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joyce | 9/12/2011

    " Extraordinarily eye opening. I recommend this for EVERYONE with parents or other relatives over 60. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linny | 6/4/2011

    " excellent mix of intimate personal end of life of her mother, previously not a close relationship, and details of the hospital, medicare/medicaid, doctors, hospice experience with full bibliography at end for help. "

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About the Author

Jane Gross was a reporter for Sports Illustrated and Newsday before joining the New York Times in 1978. Her twenty-nine-year tenure there included national assignments as well as coverage of aging. In 2008 she launched a blog for the New York Times called The New Old Age, to which she still contributes. Gross has taught journalism at the University of California–Berkeley and Columbia University and was the recipient of a John S. Knight Fellowship. She lives in Westchester County, New York.

About the Narrator

Kate Reading is an Audie Award–winning narrator and has received thirty Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine. She is also a theater actor in the Washington, DC, area and has been a member of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company since 1987. Her work onstage has been recognized by the Helen Hayes Awards Society, among others. She and her husband live in Hyattsville, Maryland, with their two children.