Great Reads: Happiness is Growing Old at Home by Maria Tadd

December 5, 2014

At last ­ a book that explores innovative ways to help elders live out their years in the comfort of their own homes.

Maria Tadd, a medical writer, has written a thoroughly researched book that offers creative, cost-effective ideas on how to help a parent grow old at home with dignity. She introduces the reader to an exciting world of new, easy-to-use, high-tech devices and suggests how they can work in tandem with more traditional care.

She also provides savvy guidance on how to evaluate and deal with home health care agencies. While coordinating care for her elderly mother, who died at home at the age of 95, Tadd had the opportunity to work with two in-home health care agencies­, one was great and the other only added stress to an already stressful situation. Her book analyzes the reasons for the differences, presents guidelines and warning signs, and provides questionnaires to use in assessing and selecting quality in-home care, rehab, and hospice services.

With first-hand experience in helping a parent age gracefully at home, Tadd has written a practical, user-friendly book with warmth, wisdom, and a touch of humor. As one of the reviewers stated, “Reading this book is like having a long conversation with a friend over coffee.”

A vast array of topics such as simple ways to improve home safety, signs and symptoms that may indicate that assistance is needed, the importance of good nutrition and exercise, exercises to prevent falls, ways to manage medications and enhance compliance, and many more are addressed in this engaging, comprehensive, holistic guide to home care. An extensive annotated list of Web sites provides a wealth of information on a wide range of subjects.

“Happiness Is Growing Old at Home” is an invaluable resource that will help you and your parent share this once-in-a-lifetime journey and is bound to inspire baby boomers to think about the care they would like for themselves in the future and what that care might look like.

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