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From The CriticsReviewer:David O. Staats, MD(University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center)
Description:This multiauthored book discusses the changes of aging in the body, illnesses accompanying age, and how to manage and prevent these conditions. This is an update of the fourth edition, published in 2002.
Purpose:It is intended to explain aging and the diseases that accompany aging and what to do about them. The authors meet these objectives handsomely.
Audience:The audience includes a variety of helping professionals -- gerontologists, nurses, psychologists, rehabilitation specialists, clergy, and counselors. An educated lay audience also can easily use this book. The authors are all experts in their fields.
Features:Introductory chapters on demography and theories of aging are followed by 12 chapters on aging and disease by organ system. Subsequent chapters cover health promotion and exercise, nutrition, complementary medicine, and medications. There are especially good chapters on aging with disabilities and teaching older adults, usually not founds in works like this. Concluding chapters discuss caregiving and end-of-life care. Two appendixes end the book: one on practical hints for improving safety of older adults and one on useful resources, followed by an excellent glossary and a most useful index.
Assessment:This is an excellent book from start to finish. It has been honed through four previous editions into an elegant compendium. Perhaps no other source can describe in the same breath normal skin changes with age, diseases of the skin, and the psychosocial meaning of the skin. This book is not so technical that it requires a medical degree to understand it, yet it is not afraid to describe in most useful terms a number of common diseases facing older persons. Rehabilitation and prevention are emphasized throughout. The appendixes, glossary, and index add to its value. This outstanding work should be widely read -- it is perhaps the best example of an integrative approach to gerontology.