Description: In response to feedback on the first edition of 2004, the authors have expanded their discussion of the delivery of public health efforts to the older population in this edition. They also provide new information on such important areas as aging services networks, long-term care, and ethical issues in public health and aging. Most importantly, they provide an integrated framework for helping maximize functioning in later life.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a broad approach to addressing the challenge of aging for both the individual and society. As the authors state, "public health and aging must address a much more heterogeneous aging experience." The book is intended to do just that. It adds important information and perspectives to this field.
Audience: This is designed as the main textbook for an undergraduate or graduate class in aging and public health and as a possible supplementary book for gerontology and geriatric medicine. In my view, undergraduate students should be in upper level classes to get the most out of this book.
Features: The book provides an understanding of the physical, mental, and social functioning domains that affect older persons and how these affect quality of life. Further, it discusses how long-term care, end-of-life care, and ethical concerns impact the aging population and public health policies and delivery systems. The chapters on chronic disease, disability and functioning, and dementia are particularly strong, and the chapter on ethical issues in public health and aging is a very worthwhile addition.
Assessment: This is a valuable addition to the growing field of public health and aging. Although the first edition was published not that long ago, this new edition substantially expands upon it, both in terms of additional topics and in expansion of previously covered topics. This will be quite useful as a textbook in this field.