A compassionate, thoughtfully considered approach to caregiving.




A nurse advocates proactive care for the elderly in this manual.

Many older patients, writes Fitzpatrick (co-author: What to Ask the Doc, 2003), face “unnecessary treatments,” including “tests, surgeries, and medications” that may actually exacerbate health problems. Her sensible approach is to start with the simple question “What is the goal?” as a guiding principle to help caregivers and patients make wise medical decisions. This practical book lays out a clear path to answering that question in a variety of situations, each of them well-illustrated via real patient examples. For instance, the author relates the stories of her own mother and brother, demonstrating how a proactive caregiver who understands what her relatives want can lobby for an appropriate plan of care. Other anecdotes depict how undefined goals lead to consequences, the importance of informed consent, how to address the special requirements of a patient with dementia, and the differences between palliative and hospice care. In one case, a patient with advanced lung cancer “and his entire family needlessly suffered because they were on the healthcare conveyor belt.” But the book is not merely a collection of tales; it also offers helpful information about DNRs (“Do Not Resuscitate” orders), patient specifics like feeding tubes and pressure sores, things to consider before going to a hospital, and advice about nursing homes and medication management. In addition to 14 highly informative chapters, the author includes six useful appendices, such as a decision guide focusing on whether or not to go to the emergency room, detailed items to discuss at medical appointments, and a chart of potentially harmful medications. All of the material is presented in comprehensible text with a minimum of medical jargon. Fitzpatrick is consistently positive and goal-oriented throughout; she does not hesitate to put the needs of the patient first, counseling caregivers on how to question medical professionals and, if necessary, challenge them. Writes the author: “In my experience, both personally and professionally, planning and communication hold the keys to a lower stress level.”

A compassionate, thoughtfully considered approach to caregiving.

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-9747002-1-2

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Urpoint

Review Posted Online: March 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

Did you like this book?

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.


New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet