Consumer Health Information Source Book

By Alan M. Rees | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER 8

Consumer Health Mainstream Book Reviews

Aging
Beckerman, Anita G., and Ruth M. Tappen.It Takes More Than Love: A Practical Guide to Taking Care of an AgingAdult. Baltimore, MD: Health Professions Press, 2000. 346pp. $19.50 (paper).

A wife may be told: “Your husband, who has always been the backbone of the family, may be unable to speak or feed himself after a massive stroke.” At one time or another, most older people find that they need help from others. More and more family and friends are called upon to provide the type of care that once was the province of paid professionals. Beckerman and Tappen (a gerontologist and nursing professor, respectively) describe the joy and pain involved in being a caregiver. On a very practical level, they detail caring challenges, understanding family relationships, knowing what's normal and what's not (changes in memory and emotional states), providing personal care (medications, managing incontinence, assisting with feeding, and safe mobility), and getting help. Four final chapters detail how to navigate community services, finding home health care services, making the nursing home decision, and coping when your loved one dies. A most useful and supportive guide.

Creagan, Edward T. (ed.).Mayo Clinic on Healthy Aging. Rochester, MN: Mayo Clinic, 2001. 244pp. $14.95 (paper).

Healthy aging is not a chance event, but is governed by genes and circumstances. It requires thoughtful and careful planning as well as a commitment to a lifestyle focused on proper nutrition; regular, physical, spiritual, and social activities; and adequate financial resources. Succinct guidance is given lifestyle changes, exercises, care of the body, coping with depression and problems with memory, the importance of spirituality, when and how to seek quality health care, and developing healthy relationships. Highly readable, positive, and practical.

***Fries, James F.Living Well: Taking Care of Your Health in the Middle and Later Years. 3rd edition; large-print edition. Cambridge, MA: Perseus, 2001. 366pp. $18.00 (paper).

This is an updated, large-print edition of a previously wellreviewed book. The table of contents resembles the coverage and scope of the Merck Manual of Geriatrics. Fries, a physician at Stanford and a well-known author, offers a thoughtful and stress-free strategy for staying in good physical and mental shape. Part One covers vitality and aging (avoiding fatal and nonfatal diseases); Part Two outlines a strategy for staying well; and Part Three deals with solutions and describes 45 common problems such as low back pain, pain in the knee, and skin, digestive, and urinary problems. Fries supplies disease charts in each instance for elementary triage—see doctor now, see doctor today, call doctor today, apply home treatments, and the like. “Grow old along with me, the best part is yet to be“(Browning). Well written and authoritative.

Gingold, Robert.Successful Ageing. 2nd edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. 270pp. $22.95 (paper).

Aging is a normal biological process that begins at birth. The elderly will live almost 20 years more than those living a century ago. To age successfully is the ultimate challenge in life. Gingold, an Australian physician, examines the factors associ-ated with successful aging and in separate chapters discusses

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