Reviewer: Wendy Boren, RN, BSN (MU Sinclair School of Nursing)
Description: This handbook expands and explores new research modalities in areas of senior care, including mobility, falls, HIV/AIDS, and rural caregiving. The book starts with a strong preface and a genuinely well-meaning and well-recognized discussion of the difficulties faced by an aging society, the lack of community and public health response to these unique needs, and the psychological benefits of increased self-care and accommodation.
Purpose: The authors' purpose is well-stated in their acronym, the 3Rs - rehabilitate, readapt, and reinsert. Various chapters address a multitude of areas where public health has not met the challenges of an aging world. They provide honest, person-centered discussions of raising the bar in society so individuals can be preparing now for the difficulties of tomorrow's possible physical and psychological limitations. The book meets these worthy objectives. While this type of book is sorely needed, this one could go farther and deeper into exploring the many areas of interventions.
Audience: The audience is practitioners. The information may be most valuable to general family practitioners and gerontologists. There is also a secondary market of physical and occupational therapists. The authors are credible authorities and they make it obvious there is knowledge and passion behind the subject.
Features: This book hits the mark in terms of a broad-based look at the public health challenges of an aging world. The chapters focus on a variety of subjects including medication management, technology, rural versus urban healthcare management, caregiving, and independent mobility. The authors do a good job of exploring their chosen topics and providing relevant and helpful references. Some areas fail to discuss more out-of-the-box interventions, but perhaps this is intended for a more focused subject than public health. The tables and graphs are clear and easy to read, but the photographs were dark and unclear; one photograph was turned sideways. Overall, the book needs a good copyeditor; there are punctuation errors, misspellings, and, in chapter 19, text that had not been translated from Spanish. The chapter on contact robotics is particularly interesting and innovative. Chapter 8, on restorative/rehabilitative therapy, is a great addition and is backed up with positive studies to prove the authors' thesis. However, one study cited by the authors concluded with only two participants, which doesn't lend much credence to the argument. The book skims the topics in terms of audience outcomes - interesting, but more is needed.
Assessment: This is a good overview and a glimpse into some of the many problems and solutions available in the public health sector to address our aging society. Some areas could use expanding, including how to deal with dementia, the work being done in the humanities for cognitive stimulation and sustainability, and addressing governmental policy reform that needs to take place all over the world. The authors are well-intentioned and have a good knowledge of their subject, but there just aren't enough research strategies to satisfy their goals.