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From The CriticsReviewer: Shannon Martin, OTD (Touro University Nevada)
Description: This is an overview of the unique needs of older adults and the related pertinent considerations for occupational therapy practitioners working with them. The first edition was published in 2005.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a comprehensive resource for practitioners working with older adults, promoting evidence-based practice, occupational justice, and successful aging in relation to participation in meaningful occupations. The authors aim to encourage occupational therapists to be passionate and compassionate working in this area of practice. This is a worthy objective, in light of the growing number of older adults and the increasing opportunities for occupational therapists to provide services to them.
Audience: The book is intended for occupational therapy students, but is also useful for entry-level practitioners or those looking to broaden their understanding of the needs of their older adult clients.
Features: A wide range of topics is covered, including theories of aging, circumstances impacting the health and wellness of older adults, active aging, engagement in occupations, driving and community mobility, assistive technology, home modifications, and telehealth. Two chapters put particular emphasis on the effects of normal aging on each of the body systems and body functions. Another valuable chapter provides a comprehensive review of health conditions frequently seen in older adults referred to occupational therapy services. The authors use the World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health as a framework for the book, which provides consistent language and application for occupational therapists. Case studies and personal vignettes appear throughout the book, and are especially helpful for application of key concepts. One shortcoming of the book is the brevity of its treatment of topics. It provides a valuable overview of the many topics it introduces, but these may not be covered in the depth and detail necessary for more experienced clinicians.
Assessment: This book covers a broad range of important topics for occupational therapy practitioners working with older adults in a variety of practice settings. It is a valuable and comprehensive overview of the considerations of the older adult population for students and practitioners. The case studies and personal narratives provide an excellent perspective for occupational therapists working with older people.