Being old is different in many ways: different from what we anticipated in younger years, different from other chapters in our lives, and, nowadays, different from what it has been in the past. Above all, is a totally new individual experience and different for each person. To look at the complexity of these differences is the aim of this book. In "Being Old is Different" some basic person-centred principles and their implementation in everyday care are described; the themes that become relevant in the last chapters of life, and their impact on care for old people, are highlighted.The book aims to demonstrate why the Person-Centred Approach is particularly useful in this field; how it can be transferred into practice; how it helps to improve the life quality of old people and, at the same time, make work more satisfying for carers. Marlis Portner's book is not about specific nursing or therapy methods but about fundamental principles, which are valuable in different areas of care. The term 'carer', therefore, is used here for all those who, professionally or voluntarily, work with old people, and the term 'care' embraces nursing as well as therapeutic and supportive activities.
Marlis Portner, worked in theatre and as an editor and translator, before becoming a psychotherapist. After the 'family years' she studied psychology and has worked for twenty years as a psychotherapist in her own practice. She has always had in her client caseload some people with special needs. She also works as a consultant and supervisor for several social services and is often invited by communities and homes to do workshops for the staff to introduce the concept of 'Trust and Understanding'. She has published a number of books, originally in German, that have been translated into several languages, and numerous articles for professional journals. She was married for more than twenty years, has a daughter and a son, both adult, and two grandsons.