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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jane Bostick, RN, MSN (University of Missouri-Columbia)
Description: This book is a collection of scholarly writings about various aspects of the design and function of assisted living facilities.
Purpose: The editors link the themes of aging, autonomy, and architecture from the physical, social, commercial, cultural, clinical, and psychological perspectives. They describe the attributes of an environment that promotes wellness and suggest adjustments that support residents as they age.
Audience: This book is written for professionals involved in the care of the aging resident such as assisted living specialists, gerontologists, designers, and students in gerontology and architecture. It is an excellent reference for administrators, nurses, social workers, researchers, and policy makers.
Features: The ideal or "best practices" of the assisted living model, the reality of the industry, and the future trends that will influence assisted living in the U.S. are presented. Research that focuses on life stories of frail elders, the importance of personal rituals and cultural sensitivity in residential settings, and the quality of life for persons with Alzheimer's disease is described. Both provider and consumer perspectives are presented, including the basic elements of dementia care in an assisted-living setting, problems associated with frail elders in an assisted-living arrangement, and the consumer perspective of "homelike" versus "home." Theory and practice are integrated as practicing architects and theoreticians describe the challenges of creating safe housing arrangements for the frail elderly that allow for autonomy and individual choice.
Assessment: The contributors offer valuable perspectives from various disciplines using case examples and pictures to illustrate design features that foster autonomy and meet the special needs of persons with dementia. This book is an excellent addition to the literature as it provides theoretical and practical evidence of the benefits of assisted living. The editors describe the current theory and practice of assisted living settings tailored to meet individual needs in a residential and normalized setting.