Melanie P. Merriman,
Author of Holding the Net:
Caring for My Mother on the Tightrope of Aging
Book Reading and Community Forum
at Phoenix Commons Cohousing, an East Bay Cohousing Supporting Member Group
on the challenges and responsibilities of family caregiving
Free and open to the public. Come and share your caregiving story.
Author to Speak at Caregiving Forum at Phoenix Commons
In her award-winning non-fiction book, Holding the Net: Caring for My Mother on the Tightrope of Aging, Melanie P. Merriman tells the personal story of how a loving and meticulous daughter tried to manage the caregiving needs of her aging and eventually terminally ill mother. This is a deeply moving account of the challenges and frustrations of trying to do the right thing for an aging parent. But it is also an informative compendium of the tasks and techniques of family caregiving—an issue faced every day by millions of American parents, children, siblings and others who responsibility for a dependent loved one.
Dr. Merriman will present a book reading and community forum on family caregiving at Phoenix Commons, at the base of the Park Street Bridge to Alameda. A panel of other people with family caregiving experience will also share their stories. Join us for this interactive forum and bring your own questions. Books will be available for purchase and signing.
Phoenix Commons, opened in 2016, is a cohousing community for active adults aged 55 and up who have chosen to live as an intentional community. Developed by the Zimmerman family and AEC Living, which has 40 years of experience providing eldercare to the Alameda community, Phoenix Commons is creating and testing a new model for how older adults can live in close interaction and mutual support with their fellow community members while engaging in a conversation about living and aging well together.
We are busy, engaged, involved older adults. Many of us still work. But we are also concerned about care and caregiving issues and the challenges of aging and chronic illness. Many Americans either live with or someday will face the kinds of caregiving responsibilities discussed in Dr. Merriman’s book. It poignantly describes how aging, loss of function, the myriad challenges of chronic illness and resulting fears can all conspire to daunt the best-laid plans of loving family caregivers.
In a career as a quality consultant to hospice and palliative care programs nationwide, Dr. Merriman developed a deep understanding of aging, illness, and our complex health care system. But she was challenged to apply that knowledge while trying to manage her own mother’s illness. Her experience, described in her book, explores the stages and paths through aging and the question of why aging parents resist well-meaning help, often to the point of making their situations more difficult than they needed to be.