Synopses & Reviews
Within the next two decades, tens of millions of Americans will reach the age where they will need either significant support to stay in their own homes or a cost-effective residential alternative. The current state of elder care in America is appalling, expensive, and unsustainable. It underserves the majority of elderly Americans and bankrupts all but the richest few while virtually ignoring this population's complex physical and mental needs. At a time when we should be celebrating the achievements and wisdom of the oldest citizens, we instead find ways to overmedicate and isolate them in dehumanizing nursing-home facilities. And space for more residents within this system is running out. There must be a better way!In Alone and Invisible No More
, physician Allan S. Teel, MD, describes a philosophy and a course of action that have turned aging in place into a viable alternative for dozens of elderly residents in Damariscotta, Maine. Teel lays out a course of action to expand his approach to the millions of Americans approaching retirement age and how these techniques can be used to avert the financial and personal disaster approaching nationwide. He discusses the resources-both technological and professional-needed to guide this transition and the community support that will be critical to its success. Taking this "Maine Approach" to the rest of the country could create a climate where Americans welcome rather than fear the approach of their golden years.
Dr. Teel has written a serious, comprehensive book about the coming revolution over aging in America. There are a number of states that have put together pieces of the elder-care puzzle-from offering more independent settings paid for by Medicaid to scaling back on nursing-home expansions (since if you build one you have to fill it). This book pulls all these reforms together and helps us understand the underlying social movement against "kicking seniors to the curb." Hopefully it will also serve as a call to real action, not just reform of bureaucracy!--Howard Dean, former Chair of the Democratic National Committee and Vermont governor; author of Howard Dean's Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform
"A must-read book for any community looking at its own aging population and pondering care for these older citizens. Dr. Teel's pioneering 'stay-at-home' approach shifts the focus from medicalized care to empowering older adults to serve as resources for one another. This approach creates the true foundation for health and well-being in one's later years. Teel's project moves our dialogue about aging forward in one great leap."--Dennis McCullough, MD, Associate Professor, Community and Family Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School, and author, My Mother, Your Mother: Embracing Slow Medicine
"Alone and Invisible No More is a deeply human, delightfully funny, and fascinating account of how people have come together in community to create the 'Maine Approach.'"--Nikitas Zervanos, MD, Director Emeritus, Family Practice Residency, Lancaster General Health
"Compassion and passion are two essentials in the medical care for older persons. Dr. Teel's care for his patients has spurred him to forge an innovative and comprehensive approach to their care and has the promise of being a model for communities everywhere."--Ted C. Fishman, author of Shock of Gray
ForeWord Reviews-"Aging Well: Developing better health strategies is vital at any age, but for the elderly it's especially important. Staying connected to community resources and taking charge of one's wellness can empower seniors and boost overall health to a large degree.A call for widespread change comes from Alone and Invisible No More: How Grassroots Community Action and Twenty-First Century Technologies Can Empower Elders to Stay in Their Homes and Lead Healthier, Happier Lives.In a culture that worships youth and wealth, Americans have pushed their elders aside, Teel argues, and as a result, healthcare costs have soared. In his persuasive work on shifting this model, the doctor looks at how communities care for their elders and presents a plan that benefits everyone. Not only can older people live richer, healthier lives, but those around them can benefit from their experience and create a community based on wellness and mutual respect."
In Alone and Invisible No More, physician Allan S. Teel, MD, describes how to overhaul our eldercare system. Based on his own efforts to create humane, affordable alternatives in Maine, Teel's program harnesses both staff and volunteers to help people remain in their homes and communities. It offers assistance with everyday challenges, uses technology to keep older people connected to each other and their families, and stay safe. This approach works.
About the Author
Allan S. Teel, MD is a family physician in Damariscotta, Maine. During his twenty-five-year medical career, he has worked with thousands of older patients in the hospital, at nursing homes, in assisted living homes, and in their own homes. Each one has left a lasting impression. Dr. Teel's passion and commitment have driven him to speak out forcefully on the crisis facing our communities and our country. He puts human faces on our elders who are too often alone and invisible.