Behind the Old Face



Behind the Old Face:

Aging in America and the Coming Elder Boom

By Angil Tarach-Ritchey RN, GCM

At age seventeen, Angil Tarach-Ritchey had an experience that set the course for her career. Working as a nursing-home aide, she happened upon a box of love letters that belonged to a resident in her care. The letters’ owner was unable to communicate, and until Angil discovered the letters, she had not thought about her patient much beyond the custodial care she provided her. The loving words contained in the letters penetrated Angil’s heart and forever altered the way she viewed and cared for her elderly patients.


Never again would she be in the presence of an older person without acknowledging this was someone who had lived, had stories to tell, and had much to offer if only given the chance. Her first job evolved into a career and a cause. As Angil grew personally and professionally, she expanded her commitment to viewing seniors as whole human beings and she advocates for respectful, quality care.


Drawing on thirty years of experience providing elder care, Angil offers a timely, factual, and insightful overview of aging and elder care in the U.S. Incorporating life stories of elders, she escorts us into the rich inner worlds of older people and gathers their sage advice for those who will someday become senior citizens. Most importantly, she presents her constructive vision of a community-based, intergenerational, and sustainable approach to elder care. A must read for anyone who works with, is related to, is acquainted with, or will themselves become an elderly person.


Behind the Old Face; The Current Climate and Future of Aging


About the Author:

Author Angil Tarach-Ritchey RN, GCMAuthor Angil Tarach-Ritchey RN, GCM

Author, speaker, consultant and national expert in senior care.  With over 30 years experience in senior care and advocacy Angil is very passionate about eldercare and is well respected in her field.

Angil has written for several websites including NurseTogether, the Alzheimer's Reading Room, Wellsphere, the National Senior Living Provider’s Network, Ann Arbor News, and her own blog, Aging in America.  Her passion and expertise have led to being published in the Chicago Sun Times, Maturity Matters, Medpedia, Vitamins Health, Medworm, Alzheimer’s New Zealand and several other publications.  She has been featured on Nurse Talk, WE Magazine for Women; Women on a Mission, Life Goes Strong, You and Me Health Magazine, His Is Mine, and Abec’s Small Business Review and quoted in several publications, such as Reuters, Consumer Affairs, PTO Today, Women Entrepreneur and more.

Author's Website:

Educational information and resources can be found on my blog "Aging in America"

The Aging Question; A Vision for the Coming Elder Boom



5.0 out of 5 stars

Wake Up Call for Everyone

This book is an extremely important wake up call for everyone that plans to grow old or has someone in their life that is a senior citizen. Which, by the way, just happens to be everyone on the planet. The information in these pages is vital for becoming more informed on the reality of aging in America as well as a guide to use when making plans for one's own inevitable geriatric journey. This book delivers valuable information in a very easy to read format also. Don't think that you have to have any medical background to understand and appreciate the message. The personal stories of the senior citizens Nurse Ritchey worked with and interviewed are riveting and the breakdown in the cost of senior care is something that everyone should see. I will recommend this book to all of my fellow Baby Boomer friends. -Kat in Vegas


5.0 out of 5 stars A Rare Combination


Few books on aging provide the multiple perspectives needed to understand the current aging crisis in America. Typically, the focus is singular. Facts and figures on demographic trends, advocacy or interviews with older persons are the focus. Caregiving issues may figure prominently or a proposed model for community is discussed. Rarely, do you see a combination of these topics. This book covers it all.

Angil Tarach-Ritchey offers 30-years of nursing experience with the elderly, advanced professional training and limitless empathy to communicate the big picture about elders. Let's start with her background in nursing and as owner of a home health care agency. She is only too well aware of the disregard for elders in this society. "I have seen more advocacy for an animal than an abused senior," she writes, a caring perspective that radiates throughout the book.
Part I provides a thoughtful review of the current climate of aging, including Angil's personal story. Topics range from her experience caring for the very sick elderly in a nursing home, while still an adolescent, to essential information about Alzheimer's disease. She also offers considerations about retirement--that is, are people prepared for the big transition from an active working life to creating a meaningful post-retirement?
Current and future demographics further detail the reality we all face: families scattered and unable to care for their older relatives, lack of income among the very old and sick, breakdown of long-term care options, as well as isolation and neglect of older people. The ever-present concern about health care costs and the viability of Social Security, especially for the Boomer generation, are also addressed.
Part II uses interviews to explore the people behind the "old faces," their lives, hopes, dreams and strengths. The photos particularly bring forth our own compassion and understanding of older persons: those left to live alone, others simply left behind by family and friends, caught in the system, or existing in a barren old-age facility she refers to as a "storehouse of the dying."
Part III provides a highly detailed vision of cooperative communities, a concept whose time has surely arrived. With work and commitment, Angil argues it would be possible to generate alternative models of senior living that would enhance old people's lives. As a sociologist, I was very excited about the development of a cooperative community of diverse age groups with full access to a variety of group activities, including shopping, health care, transportation, entertainment and other needs--and at affordable costs.
No one looks forward to that last stage of life trapped in an old age facility. Policymakers, you're on notice to begin planning for a more humane and compassionate future for our senior citizens. It takes a village to care for the expanding number of older persons, and we'd better start building those communities right now--while there's still time!  -Nanette J. Davis, Ph.D.

 A must-read!

We are a caregiver (professional or otherwise), or we are someone who needs or will need a caregiver, or we are elderly or disabled and need to make decisions concerning our welfare, or we are middle-aged and want to plan for our elder years, or we have an elderly person in our life. EVERYONE falls into one of these categories, and everyone needs to read Behind the Old Face: Aging in America and the Coming Elder Boom (published by DreamSculpt Media, November 12, 2012), a groundbreaking book by Angil Tarach-Ritchey. From challenges to the current system of care for the elderly to a vision of the future of elder care, from information on navigating the system to candid stories from the mouths of elders, Tarach-Ritchey covers the gamut of issues surrounding aging in America and what challenges lie in our future, especially if we are baby-boomers.

Tarach-Ritchey is a veritable fountain of knowledge, insight and skill in dealing with issues of the elderly. With a background that began in nursing home care, culminating in the creation and management of her own home care agency, she brings over 30 years of experience to the reader in a vehicle of profound sensitivity and compassion. She is the author of Quick Guide to Understanding Medicare, Medic-aid and other payer sources, available on Amazon Kindle, and  "The Aging Question; A Vision for the Coming Elder Boom", a M2 Ebook, as well as being featured on websites, in publications, and as a guest speaker on matters of the elderly. She is founder of The Elder Boom(tm) Foundation, a "501C3 non-profit dedicated to educating families, professional caregivers and healthcare professionals to a new vision of senior living and care." More information on the foundation can be found on her website, [...]. Educational information and resources can be found on her blog "Aging in America".

I am both a caregiver for my father and a baby-boomer with numerous health issues who needs to think about my own care in the future. I found this book easy to read and jam-packed with useful information and resources. It was also a good smack in the head when it comes to our own perceptions of the elderly. There is a story behind every old face, and sometimes we are in too much of a hurry, too distracted, too impatient to hear that story. What a blessing to have Tarach-Ritchey to give us her hand and guide us through the murky waters of aging! How blessed are the aged to have an advocate like her to stand beside them!  -CBA







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