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Gass, Thomas Edward

GASS, Thomas Edward

PERSONAL:

Male. Education: Obtained psychology degree and certified nurse aide (CNA).

ADDRESSES:

Agent—c/o Cornell University Press, 512 East State St., Ithaca, NY 14850

CAREER:

Worked variously as a teacher and in social work, including director of a half-way house and later nursing aide and director of social services at a nursing home.

WRITINGS:

Nobody's Home: Candid Reflections of a Nursing Home Aide, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 2004.

SIDELIGHTS:

After caring for his own mother at the end of her life, Thomas Edward Gass, a social worker, teacher, and certified nurse aide, worked in a nursing home. In his 2004 book, Nobody's Home: Candid Reflections of a Nursing Home Aide, Gass relates his experiences of caring for the elderly residents of a Midwest nursing home in a "calm, intelligent and matter-of-fact style," to quote a Publishers Weekly reviewer. The daily routines, both pleasant and unpleasant, form the subject matter of this "honest and heartfelt book." As Gass told a reporter for Older Americans Report, he tried to have rapport with his charges: "It was just natural for me to come in close, because there is such loneliness.… It may seem on the outside that they're not doing anything, or that nothing is happening," he continued, but "people have had a whole lifetime to build up their character, and they don't lose that, necessarily."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Older Americans Report, May 7, 2004, "Making It Personal Is Key to Survival, Says Nursing Aide-Turned-Author," p. 135.

Publishers Weekly, February 23, 2004, review of Nobody's Home: Candid Reflections of a Nursing Home Aide, pp. 62-63.

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