Book on eldercare is ‘Nasty, Brutish’ and … excellent

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I have to admit that sometimes when I find something I really like, I keep quiet about it. There’s no sense in giving away the location of a prime fishing hole after all.

But when it comes to good reading, I like to spread the word so others can enjoy, too. With that in mind, I highly recommend you remember this name: “Nasty, Brutish & Long: Adventures in Old Age and the World of Eldercare.” You can thank me later.

Another name that should be etched in your mind is Ira Rosofsky. He’s the brains behind the above-named book. A nursing home psychologist with a saber-sharp wit, he has composed an entertaining story that strikes an elusive balance: a story perfectly suited for both consumers and healthcare professionals.

We have all endured books associated with our workplaces. While they often are full of good info, they just as often are tedious and typically a chore to get through.

On the contrary here. This book, which peels back the layers of long-term care and many of its associated psychological and sociological challenges, was my faithful spring break companion—one I couldn’t get enough of, in fact. This is a writer with something to say and the skill to say it extremely, extremely well.

I don’t care if it’s a grocery list: I want to see the next thing he writes. He professes a yearning for a literary career and this is a fine start. (Full disclosure: I had never heard of Rosofsky, a psychologist,  before seeing an opinion piece of his about the over-medication of patients that appeared in the Los Angeles times this spring.)

Crisply written and professionally honed, “Nasty, Brutish and Long” centers on the insightful musings of a trained professional who both toils in the long-term care system day in, day out, and also saw his father expire in it.

While at times delighting in dark humor, these are not the ramblings of a bitter man, or a basement novelist looking for a few cheap laughs. Far from it. The reader is treated with literary, historical and pop music references skillfully woven into a dual-track story that always keeps moving.

Along the way, we learn about Rosofky’s extended family, even the dog. And, of course, himself, about whom he spares no insightful darts. But never to excess. And it works.

This is a writer at heart, waiting to bust out and prove himself on an even wider stage. Here’s hoping he gets the chance. See why for yourself.

“Nasty, Brutish & Long: Adventures in Old Age and the World of Eldercare” is published by Avery, a member of the Penguin Group. It can be obtained at various places online.

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Daily Editors' Notes

McKnight's Daily Editors' Notes features commentary on the latest in long-term care news and issues. Entries are written by Editorial Director John O'Connor, Editor James M. Berklan, Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman and Staff Writer Marty Stempniak.