cover of book

In Death's Waiting Room: Living and Dying with Dementia in a Multicultural Society
by Anne-Mei The
Amsterdam University Press, 2008
Paper: 978-90-5356-077-8 | eISBN: 978-90-485-0107-6


The story behind In Death’s Waiting Room is a penetrating human drama that concerns us all—as our “greatest generation” continues to age, more and more families are contending with the onset of dementia in their elderly parents and grandparents, a trend that will only continue as the global population of senior citizens continues to grow with certain speed. For this remarkable volume, Anne-Marie The carried out two years of hands-on ethnographic research in an Amsterdam nursing home for patients with various forms of dementia. In Death’s Waiting Room reveals what usually remains hidden in these modern-day centers of care: the decision to stop treatment, the poverty and voodoo rituals of the black Caribbean nursing staff looking after predominantly white patients, the difficulties faced—and caused—by relatives, and the tensions and aggressions between residents. This immensely readable and moving volume also shares the touching moments of humor and compassion, while at the same time forcing us to consider our own potential confrontation with dementia, in our own or our parents’ lives. From conversations with underpaid nurses to confrontations with family visitors who insist on prolonging treatment against all odds, this searing book is a truly necessary guide to some of the most wrenching aspects of old age.

See other books on: Comparative Politics | Dementia | Dying | Living | Multicultural Society
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