I’m taking a big step and want to tell you about it. My 2024 goal is to finish a book about how to care for frail older people. It will be from a geriatrician's perspective. One year from now a book will be available online and in print.
Why do I have this goal?
More than 10,000 babies are born daily in the United States. At the same time more than 10,000 people turn 65 per day. Many seniors eventually become frail. It’s easy to find 100 books about how to take care of children. In contrast, there are few books written about how to care for frail older adults. Better information to support caregivers is absolutely needed. It’s something I can’t NOT do at this point in my career and life.
There ARE many books written about caregiver stress and ways to find help. Some books focus on financial management, estate, and funeral planning. Information about Alzheimer’s Disease and other common illnesses is available online. However, there are few books by geriatricians that are written specifically for caregivers. Constipation, sleep problems, and falls are examples of common geriatric syndromes. I’d like to help caregivers manage these difficult daily challenges.
My goal is to provide a resource that is practical and easy to understand. In addition, I will make sure that the information is accurate and up to date. But I’d also like to share things I’ve learned from patients and caregivers. It’s the human stories that matter the most. The things that are important to some patients are less important to others. A caregiver is the most significant person in the daily life of a frail older person. Yet caregivers have different lives, different challenges, and different resources. Some approaches work in some situations but not others. My hope is that I can help explore what works for each patient and each caregiver.
The Work Ahead
I am telling you my 2024 goal now, but it is something I’ve worked on for several years. In fact, I started this website with that intention. The website kept me on track and committed to writing. As a result, about half of the needed content has been drafted. In the months ahead, I will be working on topics such as urinary incontinence, skin damage, and mobility assistance.
Telling you about my goal is one more way of keeping me on track. I’m planning out my months. I’ll be doing well if I get to the editing and publishing work by August. Judging from my past activities, it always takes longer than I hoped. But I’m also giving myself deadlines. (Don’t worry, I’m also remembering to take care of myself.)
Thanks for letting me share my goal.
PS: I say it over and over again: There's no one more important than the caregiver in the daily life of a frail person.