Description: This is a preliminary report of the first phase of a 3.5-year Longitudinal Evaluation of the Educational Preparations in the Care of Older People conducted in the U.K. to be completed in 2001. Although presented in terms of contemporary elder care in the U.K., the issues are of a larger global challenge.
Purpose: There are varied purposes. The editors initially indicate the purpose is to "advance the dialogue between the abstract knowledge of professionals and the situated knowledge of those receiving care," purpose requiring a more interactive method than provided by this book. Also the introduction states the purpose is to "advance gerontological education in nursing and to identify an epistemology of practice for those involved in the care of older people." Other contributors to the book indicate purposes such as to "review sources of tensions contributing to the poor status of care provided to older people and "to suggest a more appropriate framework for goals and outcomes of care for the elderly." All of these objectives are critical and commendable, but overly ambitious."
Audience: This book is relevant for all healthcare professionals, educators, and researchers, but most notably for students in the health professions. It should be required reading for healthcare policy makers and analysts. The editors and contributors are well-known British gerontologists.
Features: This book is organized into three parts of nine chapters. The first two chapters provide an introduction and overview to the issues, "setting the scene," if you will. The major part of the book are six chapters reviewing the status of contemporary elder care in six distinct areas: acute and rehabilitation care, community care, continuing care environments, palliative care, mental health, and learning disabilities. The final chapter is aptly titled "Integrating perspectives," as it present a synthesis of themes from the previous chapters. References are excellent.
Assessment: This is a cogent presentation of provocative, global issues in contemporary elder care. For the authors of this book to meet their objectives, the readers must heed their advice and act immediately.