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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Vincent F Carr, DO, MSA, FACC, FACP (Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences)
Description: Part of the Oxford Handbook series from the U.K., this book focuses on the issues inherent in caring for the elderly. The previous edition was published in 2006.
Purpose: The authors discuss the many reasons caring for the elderly requires special considerations and some of the problems encountered, such as the lack of focused research involving the elderly and changes in physiology due to age.
Audience: The audience is primarily U.K. clinicians. Clinicians in the U.S. must be mindful of the differences in the approaches to treating the elderly between the two countries.
Features: The book generally uses a bullet format to highlight the most salient differences between treating the elderly and younger patients. The chapters are based upon traditional organ systems and in each chapter there are pages on specific topics, such as cough, the aging lung, and delirium. Most helpful are the "How to" tables emphasizing the unique evaluations for the elderly. The book addresses philosophical questions such as who should be offered dialysis, not by giving hard and fast rules, but rather by looking at the additional considerations for elderly patients.
Assessment: This is a thoughtful and challenging book that is very serious reading for clinicians who frequently encounter elderly patients in their practice.