As We Are Now

1973 words 8 pages
The book As We Are Now, written by May Sarton, targets those concerned with the care of elderly individuals in nursing homes. In the book, Sarton artistically highlights the plethora of ongoing issues social workers face in their work as they attempt to provide quality care to the elderly population. The book is written as the memoirs of a very thoughtful elderly woman, Caroline Spenser, as she spent part of her life in a nursing home; and brings to light the lack of quality of care that elderly individuals received when living in such a facility in the 1970’s.
The story is a work of fiction focusing on the life of Caroline Spenser, a 76 year old woman who, after suffering from a heart attack, is taken to Twin Elms Nursing Home to live
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As Caroline mentioned to the Pastor “… it was because of Standish in Pain he face the wall. I heard him begging them to see the doctor”…. Harriet responded “You are not in pain. You’re just stubborn, throw your medicine away, won’t eat. If you are in pain, it’s all your fault”. (Sarton, 1973) This treatment contributed to his depressive mood which exacerbated his medical condition further creating an environment of hopelessness and helplessness.
Aging is a normal phase of human growth and development which results in numerous physical, cognitive, psychological, social and emotional challenges for people. The readers become emotionally enveloped as Caroline forces us to anticipate our own futures and contemplate our own feelings around enduring such treatment. Elderly clients experience the decline in physical and mental abilities such as reduced stamina and decreased cognitive ability. Nursing homes do not acknowledge these losses in clients which lead clients to feeling misunderstood and lost without the appropriate outlets to grieve. Most nursing homes caring for the elderly are inefficient in creating an environment of empathy, unconditional positive regard, and emotional support. As a result, many of the clients suffer in silence through being subjected to emotional neglect.
The story of


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