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Dr. Allan Teel Tells a Story About His Dad

Our model of caring for the elderly is broken — miserable for seniors and unaffordable for society. But Dr. Allan Teel says he has the solution — commonsensical, cost-effective and a lot more humane. He explains it in his new book, Alone and Invisible No More: How Grassroots Community Action and 21st Century Technologies Can Empower Elders to Stay in Their Homes and Lead Healthier, Happier Lives.

Allan Teel has practiced geriatric and family medicine in Damariscotta, Maine for 25 years. He cares deeply about his patients and he respects them. So he chafed at the isolation, helplessness, and uselessness so many seniors experience in today’s nursing homes –- places that are little more than warehousing facilities. His frustration led him to developing an innovative approach that uses grassroots community action and 21st technologies to empower elders to stay in their homes — or return to them from the nursing home or assisted living. It’s called Full Circle America and he wants to roll it out across the country.

In this Web-only extra, Dr. Teel tells a story about his own elderly father, who took care of an even more frail elder when the man’s daughter needed a respite. It’s a great example of the Full Circle America approach.

About Francesca Rheannon

Francesca Rheannon is an award-winning independent radio producer. In addition to hosting Writer’s Voice, she’s a freelance reporter for National Public Radio and its affiliates. Recipient of the prestigious Nancy Dickerson Whitehead Award for reporting on substance abuse issues for her news series, VOICES OF HIV, produced for 88.5 WFCR public radio in western Massachusetts. She is also finishing a book on Provence (PROVINCE OF THE HEART) and working on a memoir of her father, THE ARGONAUTS.

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