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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Deborah Kuhn Bruley, MS, RN (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing)
Description: The title of this book may mislead some readers into thinking that it targets family caregivers. However, this book actually gives an excellent, succinct overview of theories of aging, grieving, and nuts-and-bolts approaches to grief education of professional and other paid caregivers of the dying elderly. The author uses her many years of experience as Director of Pastoral Services (particularly in a psychiatric nursing home facility, where the staff cared for patients over many years) to give authenticity to her descriptions of both the dying elderly and the staff who were grieved by their deaths.
Purpose: The stated purpose of providing basic resources for training caregivers in the area of grief and loss in healthcare facilities is met both in the description of workshop formats and the chapters that focus on the content to be taught.
Audience: Not only are grief educators targeted, but an excellent chapter is included for pastoral caregivers, with many helpful ideas for providing spiritual care to the dying elderly.
Features: The extremely helpful appendixes give workshop formats, publicity flyers, examples of vignettes and questions to be used, evaluation forms, as well as actual workshop schedules.
Assessment: At times it is difficult to determine whether suggested interventions are aimed at the dying elderly or the caregiver, and though many classic studies are referenced, current work in grief research is missing. However, for a basic resource for training caregivers in the area of grief and loss in healthcare facilities I have not seen a better publication. This easy-to-read, compact book is a worthy addition to the library of educators in the fields of gerontology and grief.