November 13, 2017

Purdue University Press to release ‘Shelved: A Memoir of Aging in America’

shelved Sue Petrovski, 85, based her book on health care experiences with her husband, who suffered from dementia and other illnesses that caused them to make several elder care decisions. Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Purdue University Press will publish “Shelved: A Memoir of Aging in America” on Wednesday (Nov. 15) in conjunction with National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.

Author Sue Petrovski, 85, based the book on health care experiences with her husband, who suffered from dementia and other illnesses that caused them to make several elder care decisions. She also seeks to unearth the truth about the elder years, such as recent research reports of hidden value and worth for those entering this stage of life.

After making the decision to sell their home and move into a senior living community, Petrovski found herself thrust into the corporate care model of elder services available in the United States.

In the memoir, she reflects on the move and the benefits and deficits of American for-profit elder care. Petrovski draws on extensive research that demonstrates the cultural value of our elders and their potential for leading vital, creative lives, especially when given opportunities to do so, offering a cogent critique of elder care options in this country.

The book provides readers with a personal account of what it is like to leave a family home and enter a new world where everyone is old and where decisions like where to sit in the dining room fall to low-level corporate managers.

“My intent in writing this book is to draw attention to what research and specialists in caring for the aged are saying about the positive value of this last third of our lives, and how what they say disagrees with the way in which our culture has chosen to view anyone over the age of 65,” Petrovski said.

Showcasing the benefits of communal living as well as the frustrations of having decisions about meals, public spaces and governance driven by the bottom line, Petrovski delivers suggestions for the transformation of an elder care system that more often than not condescends to older adults into one that puts people first - a change that would benefit everyone, whether they are 40, 60, 80, or beyond.

“Shelved” can be purchased online at http://www.thepress.purdue.edu/titles/format/9781557537898. It also is available at all major booksellers. 

Writer: Megan Huckaby, 765-496-1325, mhuckaby@purdue.edu

Source: Bryan Shaffer, 765-494-8428, bshaffer@purdue.edu

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