Within an 18-month period, Sharona Hoffman lost both of her parents and her mother-in-law, and her husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
“As I faced all of these challenges, I realized I would have benefitted a lot from having the knowledge I was gaining as I was struggling with these problems, and maybe I could help others by providing a resource,” she said.
That’s one reason Hoffman, a professor of law and bioethics at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, wrote her newly published book, “Aging with a Plan: How a Little Thought Today Can Vastly Improve Your Tomorrow.”
Hoffman, who also serves as co-director of the Law-Medicine Center at CWRU, will discuss her first book at 2 p.m. June 14 at the Heights Libraries’ Coventry Village branch in Cleveland Heights.
“It’s a concise and comprehensive resource for middle-age readers who are facing the prospect of their own aging and caring for elderly relatives,” she said. “It covers a broad array of issues ¬¬– financial, legal, medical and social – that you have to be aware of in planning for your own old age and caring for loved ones.”
Another incentive for Hoffman, 50, in writing the book is she and her husband, Andy Podgurski, don’t have children, so she has “no natural unpaid caregivers.”
“So I realized when I become old, I better have a plan,” she said.
A key objective of the 196-page book, published by Praeger of Santa Barbara, Calif., is to get people to plan and prepare in advance, “so they’re not trying to learn about topics as they are facing crises,” Hoffman said.
“It’s hard to learn everything when you have to make decisions immediately,” she said.
Hoffman, of University Heights, has lived in Greater Cleveland and taught at the CWRU School of Law since 1999. A member of Beth El-The Heights Synagogue in Cleveland Heights and The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Beachwood and Cleveland, she has served on the boards of Cleveland Hillel and the Anti-Defamation League.
A native of San Rafael, Calif., Hoffman lived in Israel for several years while growing up. Her father, Rabbi Morton Hoffman, was a Cleveland native who graduated from Glenville High School and served as rabbi in multiple cities in the U.S. and Israel. He died last November.
Her mother, Aviva Hoffman, was a native of Israel who died in 2013.
Hoffman earned a law degree from Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Mass., and a master’s degree in health law from the University of Houston Law Center. She is working toward a doctorate in law at CWRU.
WHAT: Local author Sharona Hoffman will discuss her new book, “Aging with a Plan: How a Little Thought Today Can Vastly Improve Your Tomorrow”
WHEN: 2 p.m. June 14
WHERE: Coventry Village branch library, 1925 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights
COST: Free and open to the public
INFO: Copies of the book will be available for purchase, and Hoffman will sign them. Cost of the hardcover book is $37. Call 216-932-3600.