According to this series, 29 percent of elderly people who break a hip die within a year. This is higher than the one-year rate of death following a stroke. The series is very effective in highlighting this surprising problem in an accessible and humanizing way. It also illuminates some of the reasons for the death rate by comparing the experiences of two women, one of whom fares better than the other. The woman who healing goes less well shows as many mental challenges as physical. Narrative allows for a probing look at the role of a person’s inner life in her ability to heal.

Read “After the Fall,” by Alice Dembner

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