We include this narrative essay by a physician—published in a health care journal—because it’s a great example of the ways that narrative can enliven and enlighten discourse about complicated and difficult topics. Winakur dispenses with the sterilized language of health care policy and medicine, writing with honesty and grace. In doing so he helps explicate and get at the heart of issues surrounding aging and long-term care. His ending, in particular, is powerful in the way it reveals Winakur’s difficult emotional bind.

What Are We Going To Do with Dad?” by Jerald Winakur

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