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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Darrell A Owens, DNP (University of Washington School of Nursing)
Description: This book for healthcare providers who are involved in the care of people with dementia and their families starts with a definition of various types of dementia before covering a wide array of topics such as protecting the dignity of patients, symptom management, managing activities of daily living, and advance care planning and resources.
Purpose: It is designed to guide professional caregivers in meeting the needs of those with advanced dementia and their families, and to provide insight into the philosophy, assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation measures involved in palliative care. As the population ages, so too will the number of people who are diagnosed with dementia. This book and others like it are needed to assist healthcare providers with meeting the needs of this growing population. This one meets its objectives and will serve as a useful guide for professionals.
Audience: Healthcare practitioners actively involved in the care of people with dementia are the intended audience. While the information would be useful for students, the book is written at a level that is more appropriate for those in active practice or in graduate training.
Features: The book clearly defines the various types of dementia, including a succinct trajectory of illness based on type. The book does an exceptional job of defining personhood and how it is impacted when one receives a diagnosis of dementia. The general overview of drug therapy for people with dementia is brief. Prescribing healthcare providers would likely need a more detailed book if they specifically needed detailed pharmacotherapy information. The section dedicated to activities of daily living is detailed, but has less utility for practitioners in active practice and is better suited for students. The chapter on cultural diversity is also well written and is a nice reference for healthcare providers working with diverse populations. Finally, the chapter on advance care planning is thorough and helpful. This chapter would likely be most beneficial for providers who specialize in areas other than geriatrics, such as primary care providers.
Assessment: As the population ages, the number of those being diagnosed with dementia is increasing. The majority of work published on the care of people with dementia appears in larger books on geriatrics and mental health. This one is written specifically for caregivers of people with dementia at the end of life and their families. The focus on the end stages of illness makes the book unique and worth adding to your library.