I am honored that Susan asked me to participate in her book in this way. I remember the Gunn family with great affection. My son attended the Junior High School that bears his name, Floyd Gunn Junior High School. I had the good fortune of being one of both Floyd and Beth Gunn's personal physicians. They lived a good long fruitful life and were quite elderly when they passed. They are missed by many.
There are few people better suited to writing a book on caregiving than Susan, who participated in every aspect of her parents’ medical care and medical decisions. She was present on all their office visits and most days when they were hospitalized. Although I am a specialist, she often consulted with me on other aspects of their care. She received her personality and determination from her parents, always cheerful and looking on the bright side of sometimes somber medical issues. Many family members lack the attention to details that Susan made sure were carried out.
As a medical professional, I see the growing need for caregiving on a daily basis. It is a tough job and I admire those who provide it. Many families are relegating care to institutions, such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities or memory care centers, as their needs require. However, many of these facilities cannot or do not provide all the personal attention necessary. With the continuing changes in medical care insurance coverage, families will have even more responsibilities, now and in the future. The family must help out to see that the proper care is provided.
The Gunn story is one of millions playing out in our country every day. "Matters of the Heart" is a compelling reading for any current or future caregiver. There is much to learn and Susan has much to share.
James A. Richardson, M.D., PhD., F.A.C.C.