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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Saundra L. Theis, RN, PhD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing)
Description: This edited book contains the proceedings of a conference summarizing knowledge related to mechanisms of society that aid older adults to maintain independence in community settings. Areas included are active life expectancy, psychological issues, role of nursing home placement, compensation and overcompensation in nursing homes, social support, and physical environment related to competence.
Purpose: The purpose is to summarize knowledge and to stimulate research related to maintaining independence. As the world ages, it is increasingly important that we know what supports the maintenance of competence and what allows older adults to stay in the community. Therefore, the research reported in this book is helpful and meets the purpose of the authors.
Audience: Anyone who is interested in the further understanding of research related to competence of older adults will benefit from this book. Gerontologists in the fields of psychology, health sciences, sociology, and management of community settings for elders will particularly benefit. The contributors to the book are well known and competent in their fields.
Features: This book has few illustrations and could benefit from more to enhance understanding. The references are relevant and current. There are author and subject indexes, making information easy to locate. A unique feature of the book is that each subject is addressed by one or two authors, and two related commentaries are included. This feature fosters a discussion format and extends the knowledge and application.
Assessment: This is an excellent compilation of the state of current knowledge related to independence in older adults and to how societal mechanisms help or hinder that independence. Although it will be most useful to researchers, there are clinical implications to be gained by health science and other long-term care clinicians. Researchers should purchase the book and it should be in the library for wide use by long-term care clinicians.