With Shaking Hands: Aging with Parkinson's Disease in America's Heartland
Far from celebrity media spotlight, ordinary individuals, many older and less advantaged, suffer the disabling pain of Parkinson's disease (PD), an illness whose progressive symptoms often mimic old age and cause mobility impairment, communication barriers, and social isolation.
At the heart of With Shaking Hands is the account of elder Americans in rural Iowa who have been diagnosed with PD. With a focus on the impact of chronic illness on an aging population, Samantha Solimeo combines clear and accessible prose with qualitative and quantitative research to demonstrate how PD accelerates, mediates, and obscures patterns of aging. She explores how ideas of what to expect in older age influence and direct interpretations of one's body.
This sensitive and groundbreaking work unites theories of disease with modern conceptions of the body in biological and social terms. PD, like other chronic disorders, presents a special case of embodiment which challenge our thinking about how such diseases should be researched and how they are experienced.