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This book is multifaceted as the author is both a geriatrician and the daughter of a man who was frail, had dementia and experienced a prolonged uncomfortable death. She tells her family's story, and there's nothing better than a story to get your point across. She also speaks from her professional point of view that questions why our health care system lacks the organization, teamwork and direction to offer client-centred care that includes the family in decision-making. Ideally, the family should be the decision-makers who are informed and empowered so that frail elderly people can be cared for with dignitiy and common sense. The book is short and to the point, and can be appreciated by both families and health care professionals. It cuts to the chase and defines frailty, talks frankly about dementia and our need to accept that there IS a final stage of life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Poignant and InformativeApril 21 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
The Salami Salesman and His Daughter Falafel is Dr. Laurie Mallery's poignant account of the events leading up to her father's death and what she learned through the process of caring for him. An internist/geriatrician and head of Geriatric Medicine Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Dr. Mallery's role as the informed family member-caregiver is both impeded and enhanced by her medical training.
In caring for her 83-year-old father who suffered from a complex interaction of health conditions (cerebellar strokes, CHF, atrial fibrillation, hemolytic anemia ) that contributed to and exacerbated his declining mobility and cognitive impairment, Dr. Mallery undergoes a learning process that informs the reader about pertinent medical and social issues affecting end-of-life care.
An in-depth review of the salient geriatrics and palliative care issues discussed in the book can be read at [..], a blog dedicated to supporting discourse, presenting recent news and research, and encouraging freethinking commentary on the topics of geriatrics and palliative care.
I highly recommend this quick and insightful read to anybody who has cared or is caring for a frail elderly. Dr. Mallery does a wonderful job of informing the reader, whether from the medical or lay person perspective, about how to become involved in the healthcare of a dying family member. Healthcare professionals may also find Dr. Mallery's developed guidelines for providing comprehensive geriatric care useful.