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From The CriticsReviewer: Donna Marie Minner, BSN, RN (University of Missouri-Columbia)
Description: This book is a guided journey for care partners to discover the spirituality in both themselves and the residents they assist. It gently illustrates how this spirituality can increase well-being and quality of life.
Purpose: The intent is to assist staff in their understanding of the spiritual nature of all humans and also to assist them in recognizing the spiritual nature of their work. The focus is on older adults in nursing homes. The emphasis in nursing home care in the past has been on the physical needs of residents. With the advent of author Tom Kitwood's publications on rethinking aging and the other dimensions of care (e.g., Dementia Reconsidered: the Person Comes First (Open University Press, 1997)), more emphasis has been placed on the psychosocial needs. This book in essence continues this work and takes the spiritual needs and influences of the individual to the level that they deserve.
Audience: This book is written for all staff members who work in long-term care. It is easy to follow, and could be used to provide education, giving suggestions for action and examples for discussion. The authors have correctly targeted those who have direct contact with residents. They realize that these are the people capable of making a difference in the lives of those they care for. Each of the authors is well versed in the subjects they write about and verbally illustrate.
Features: This book uses chapters on spirituality, hope, empathy, compassion, relationships, food, and the arts to improve life and increase spiritual well-being for those living in long-term care. The authors have not forgotten the caregiver, with discussions that allow the staff members to examine their own feelings and spirituality and how that might influence the care they give. Stories used to illustrate points and concepts and foster thought and discussion make this a wonderful book to be used in the education of all levels of staff.
Assessment: I welcome this book as an addition to my own library and will refer to it often. It is well written, and not only useful but essential for those who want to acknowledge the spiritual needs of their residents and improve the well-being and quality of life in the nursing facilities in which they work.