Louise Aronson

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San Francisco, The United States
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October 2012


Louise Aronson is a writer, leading geriatrician, educator, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the author of the New York Times bestseller Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, and Reimagining Life. A graduate of Harvard Medical School and the Warren Wilson Program for Writers, Dr. Aronson has received the Gold Professorship in Humanism in Medicine, the California Homecare Physician of the Year award, and the American Geriatrics Society Clinician-Teacher of the Year award. Her writing appears in publications including The New York Times, Washington Post, Discover Magazine, JAMA, Bellevue Literary Review and the New England Journal of Medicine and has earned her four Pushcart nominat ...more

Elderhood and the Pulitzer Prizes

On the afternoon of Monday, May 4 2020, I was in clinic well, pandemic clinic. I was sitting at my home desk talking to a patient via Zoom on my smartphone while charting into our electronic medical record on my computer. Suddenly, a flurry of emails and other alerts flashed on the upper right of my computer screen and texts began appearing on my phone.

I registered this as: unusual.

Because we ar

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Published on May 05, 2020 09:25
Average rating: 3.83 · 1,194 ratings · 245 reviews · 2 distinct worksSimilar authors
Elderhood: Redefining Aging...

3.87 avg rating — 726 ratings — published 2019 — 6 editions
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A History of the Present Il...

3.77 avg rating — 468 ratings — published 2013 — 6 editions
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* Note: these are all the books on Goodreads for this author. To add more, click here.

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Author appearance, February 18, 2020 02:58AM
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The Soul of Care:...
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In the Dream Hous...
Louise Aronson is currently reading
by Carmen Maria Machado (Goodreads Author)
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Louise’s Recent Updates

Louise Aronson wrote a new blog post

Podcasts and Pandemic

Yesterday, as I was talking to a patient about how he might exercise during the pandemic, I suggested he pair the (far less desirable or interesting t Read more of this blog post »
Louise Aronson is currently reading
The Soul of Care by Arthur Kleinman
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In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado
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Louise Aronson has read
Elderhood by Louise Aronson
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An Odyssey by Daniel Mendelsohn
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Educated by Tara Westover
Educated
by Tara Westover (Goodreads Author)
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What a pleasure: great storytelling and an incredibly story. Also very timely in understanding ways of living and thinking very different from my own.
Listening to an interview, she said she learned how to write stories - or, in this case well crafte
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The Cost of Living by Deborah Levy
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Kudos by Rachel Cusk
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Motherhood by Sheila Heti
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The Recovering by Leslie Jamison
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More of Louise's books…
“Disease in man is never exactly the same as disease in an experimental animal, for in man the disease at once affects and is affected by what we call the emotional life (and, I would add, social environment). Thus, the physician who attempts to take care of a patient while he neglects this factor is as unscientific as the investigator who neglects to control all the conditions that may affect his experiment … One of the essential qualities of the clinician is interest in humanity, for the secret of the care of the patient is in caring for the patient.”
Louise Aronson, Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life

“To most people’s surprise, a large study of the United States found that midlife is the time of least happiness, greatest anxiety, and lowest life satisfaction23 for both men and women. Things begin looking up around age sixty—and not because the “younger old” are skewing the curve. The Gallup World Poll, which studies countries large and small, poor and rich, agrarian and industrialized, finds that life satisfaction assumes a U-shape across life24 in wealthier countries but different patterns elsewhere. Data from the United States and Western Europe confirm that most people are around sixty before they achieve levels of well-being comparable to those of twenty-year-olds,25 and rates climb thereafter. The increased well-being of old people seems made up of both declines in negatives and increases in positives. In one recent study, anxiety marched steadily upward26 from the teenage years to its greatest heights between ages thirty-five and fifty-nine. In the early sixties, it dropped markedly, falling again at sixty-five, then staying at the life span’s lowest levels thereafter. Conversely, sixty- to sixty-four-year-olds were happier and more satisfied with their lives than people aged twenty to fifty-nine, but not nearly as happy as those aged sixty-five and over. Even those over age ninety were happier than the middle-aged. As the poet Mary Ruefle has said, “You should never fear aging because you have absolutely no idea the absolute freedom in aging; it’s astounding and mind-blowing. You no longer care what people think. As soon as you become invisible—which happens much more quickly to women than men—there is a freedom that’s astounding. And all your authority figures drift away. Your parents die. And yes, of course, it’s heartbreaking, but it’s also wonderfully freeing.”27 In sum, depending on the measure, by their later sixties or early seventies, older adults surpass younger adults on all measures, showing less stress, depression, worry, and anger, and more enjoyment, happiness, and satisfaction. In these and similar studies, people between sixty-five and seventy-nine years old report the highest average levels of personal well-being, followed by those over eighty, and then those who are eighteen to twenty-one years old.”
Louise Aronson, Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life

“A silver medical building would offer easy, safe access that doesn’t require walking long distances, opening heavy doors, going to multiple locations, or standing in long wait lines. Its building materials would reduce noise, and design features would optimize lighting and minimize overstimulation, distraction, and risk of falls. Doors, rooms, and public areas would accommodate walkers, wheelchairs, and a person walking side by side or arm in arm with a friend, family member, or caregiver. Space use would prioritize navigation and accessibility, offering regular places to rest and regroup. Such changes would increase accessibility, nonpunitively acknowledge patient challenges, recognize old people as valued customers, and create a safer, more pleasant, and welcoming environment for all patients and families. Architecture”
Louise Aronson, Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life

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