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Being Mortal by Atul Gawande - A 20-minute Summary
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Gawande grew up in Ohio. His parents were immigrants from India and both were doctors. His grandparents stayed in India, and there were few older people in his neighborhood, so he had little experience with aging or death until he met his wife's grandmother, Alice Hobson. Hobson was 77 and living on her own in Virginia. She was a spirited widow who fixed her own plumbing and volunteered with Meals on Wheels. However, Hobson was losing strength and height steadily each year as her arthritis worsened.
Gawande's father enthusiastically adopted the customs of his new country, but he could not understand the way in which seniors were treated in the US. In India, the elderly were treated with great respect and lived out their lives with family.
In the United States, Sitaram Gawande, Gawande's grandfather, likely would have been sent to a nursing home like most of the elderly who cannot handle the basics of daily living by themselves. However, in India, Sitaram Gawande was able to live in his own home and manage his own affairs, with family constantly around him. He died at the age of 110 when he fell off a bus during a business trip.
Until recently, most elderly people stayed with their families. Even as the nuclear family unit became predominant, replacing the multi-generational family unit, people cared for their elderly relatives. Families were large and one child, usually a daughter, would not marry in order to take care of the parents.
This has changed.
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Atul Awande's Being Mortal book was the first recommendation from a respected and revered psychologist friend. It was a book placed on the classic must reads for families and professional dealing with individuals nearing the end of their lives. With no time to read, the audible version was a first choice and this summary is a great preparation to hearing the full book "Being Mortal."
Quick refresh of the novel. Not bad. Being mortal is something that I want to read every month, this summary surely helps to refresh the novel and memories.
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