Best-selling author Frances Fuller offers an insider’s view of assisted living and a unique outlook on aging, based on her own experience. Her insights are penetrating and deal with issues that many seniors and their families are concerned about.
WILMINGTON, NC, October 19, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — Wildfires, Earthquakes. Floods. Hurricanes. None of us are entirely safe from these types of events. Many of us already have developed evacuation plans and emergency procedures in the event we are hit with a natural disaster. But what about the elderly? The vulnerability of elderly individuals living alone during emergencies is even more dangerous. When disaster strikes, evacuation procedures can be chaotic and challenging to navigate, especially for those with limited mobility or cognitive impairments. Access to necessary medical supplies and facilities may be disrupted, leaving seniors without essential medications or medical equipment, further escalating their health risks. Additionally, the stress and trauma associated with these catastrophic events can take a severe toll on the mental and emotional well-being of elderly individuals, potentially aggravating pre-existing conditions or leading to new health challenges.
Frances Fuller, author of the bestselling book on aging, ‘Helping Yourself Grow Old – Things I Said To Myself When I Was Almost 90’, addressed this issue in a recent post on her website. In that article she wrote:
“The hurricane that devastated Florida has made me think. There are too many things to be afraid of. It is easier to be afraid when we are old, with declining strength. And it is harder to act on our fears.
“For example, living in an area of drought, subject to wildfires, is stressful for everyone, but especially for the elderly. When a whole town burned in California, a few years ago, the elderly were a high percentage of the fatalities, because they simply couldn’t move fast enough. Some didn’t even hear the warning; it was early morning and they had not yet put their hearing aids in their ears. One woman got as far as her porch in her wheelchair but perished, unable to get down to the ground.
“In war zones the elderly elect to stay when younger people flee, because the old people know they can’t walk to safety. Or, maybe walking away from the one place they know is their idea of death.
“Whether the danger is fire, flood or an enemy army, the elderly may be less responsive to warnings. Evacuation means packing bags under stress, putting them in the car, buying gas, bullying their way into the stream of traffic, surviving hours in the car without even potty breaks, finding no place to sleep. The effort may seem impossible; in fact it may be impossible. Instead, they will take their chances.
“And the chances of their survival are not good. I thought of this when I saw on television people in Florida walking away from their flooded homes in waist-high water. Only the young and strong can do that.
“Indeed it makes us stop and think of the perils of the elderly living alone. This is a major reason for the existence of retirement homes, assisted living, even independent living communities. They provide a safer environment.”
The full text of the piece is available at https://www.inborrowedhouseslebanon.com/will-i-be-safer-in-a-retirement-community/.
Frances Fuller’s book is unique among the many books on aging, because it is personal, while most such books are written from an academic point of view. Most are penned by sociologists, doctors, gerontologists, even the CEO of AARP, and one by a Catholic nun, Joan Chittister. Chittister’s book, ‘The Gift of Years’ is beautifully written, focusing on spiritual values and finding meaning in life. Chittister admits in the preface that she was only 70, which is the front edge of aging, and her book is somewhat abstract.
Atul Gawande’s book, ‘On Being Mortal’, relates medicine and old age, It enjoys high Amazon rankings, in the category of “the sociology of aging.” It contains a great deal of valuable scientific information and shows understanding of the physical and emotional needs of the elderly.
Frances Fuller’s book, ‘Helping Yourself Grow Old, Things I Said To Myself When I Was Almost Ninety’, is an up-close and very personal encounter with aging. It is an uncontrived and firsthand look at her own daily experiences: wrestling with physical limitations, grief, loneliness, fears, and the decisions she has made about how to cope with these and keep becoming a better person. She faces regrets and the need to forgive herself and others and is determined to live in a way that blesses her children and grandchildren.
Frances deals with many common, universal but sometimes private issues in an open, conversational tone. Her confessions and decisions invite self-searching and discussion. She tries to make sense of her own past and to understand her responsibility to younger generations. In the process she shares her daily life, enriched with memories from her fascinating experiences. Her stories and her voice — fresh, honest, irresistible — keep the reader eager for more. The end result is a book that helps create a detailed map through the challenging terrain of old age.
The result of this intimate narrative is that readers laugh, cry and identify with her mistakes and problems. Reviewers have called the book, “unique,” “honest,” “witty,” “poignant,” “challenging” and “life-changing.”
For these reasons it is a book unlike any other book on aging you will ever read. The book can serve as a primer on what lies in store for all of us, from someone who is working through many of these issues. While the book is a perfect fit for book clubs, there are many other individuals and groups who could benefit from the information and ideas in the book:
Those approaching retirement
People who are currently retired
Children of aging parents
Those who have lost a spouse
Retirement community discussion groups
Church groups (men and women)
and a host of others. For group discussions, Fuller has made a set of discussion questions available at her website at http://www.FrancesFullerAuthor.com.
Readers have lavished praise on the new book. One Amazon review stated, “I find myself thinking,’I need to read this again and take notes!’ It’s full of wisdom, humor, and grace. I also have committed to rereading it annually – it’s that important!” Another said, “There is valuable life experience in this book. Helping Yourself Grow Old is truly is a book for all ages, and one not to be missed.” Another stated, “Beautifully written book telling timeless truths, for both the old and the young. Highly recommend this book for anyone who loves to laugh, cry, and learn wisdom from someone who has lived so much life.”
Frances’ prior work, ‘In Borrowed Houses’, has taken three industry awards and has achieved Bestseller status. Frances Fuller was the Grand Prize winner in the 2015 ’50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading’ Book Awards. It received the bronze medal for memoir in the Illumination Book Awards in 2014. Northern California Publishers and Authors annually gives awards for literature produced by residents of the area. In 2015 ‘In Borrowed Houses’ received two prizes: Best Non-fiction and Best Cover.
Critics have also praised ‘In Borrowed Houses.’ A judge in the 22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards called ‘In Borrowed Houses’ ” . . a well written book full of compassion . . . a captivating story . . . “. Another reviewer described the book as “Wise, honest, sensitive, funny, heart-wrenching . . .”. Colin Chapman, lecturer in Islamic Studies at the Near East School of Theology in Beirut said, ” . . . western Christians and Middle Eastern Christians need to read this story…full of remarkable perceptiveness and genuine hope.”
Frances has shared stories about her life in an interview with Women Over 70, and a recording is available on their Facebook page.
Frances Fuller is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at [email protected]. The full text of her latest article is available at her website. Fuller’s book is available at Amazon and other book retailers. A free ebook sample from ‘In Borrowed Houses’ is available at http://www.payhip.com/francesfuller. Frances Fuller also blogs on other issues relating to the Middle East on her website at http://www.inborrowedhouseslebanon.com.
About Frances Fuller:
Frances Fuller spent thirty years in the violent Middle East and for twenty-four of those years was the director of a Christian publishing program with offices in Lebanon. While leading the development of spiritual books in the Arabic language, she survived long years of civil war and invasions.
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