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Out of PracticeFighting for Primary Care Medicine in America$
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Frederick M. MD Barken

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449765

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449765.001.0001

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All in the Family

All in the Family

(p.151) 8 All in the Family
Out of Practice

Frederick M. Barken

Cornell University Press

This chapter discusses the important role of the family in caring for the elderly. It argues that the delivery of high-quality primary care for the elderly cannot be delivered in isolation from family matters. For a majority of the coming geriatric Baby Boomers, the physician-patient relationship will one day, by necessity, become a physician-family relationship. There are some low-tech solutions for improving the health care of the elderly that lie all in the family. The chapter considers caregiving to the elderly, the obligation of adult children to care for their elderly parents, and the concept of the family as a convoy of social support for the aged. It suggests that future primary care physicians and geriatricians must attend to the family, an integral part of the patient, in all cases, not just when the patient is already dying. Finally, it explains the benefits of fostering healthy family dynamics with respect to geriatric care.

Keywords:   family, elderly, primary care, physician-family relationship, parents, adult children, health care, caregiving, physicians, geriatric care

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