Mental Disorders in Older Adults: Fundamentals of Assessment and Treatment, Second Edition, Steven H. Zarit and Judy M. Zarit (2007) The Guilford Press, New York, www.guilford.com. Readers of the first edition will find significant changes in this revised and expanded volume. Written for clinicians, clinical students interested in working with older people and their families, and researchers, this valuable book integrates clinical practice and research for a balanced and unique perspective on understanding the challenges faced by older adults. Many detailed case examples augment an extensive overview of the normal processes of aging, aging disorders, and evaluation and treatment models. The book focuses on assessments that enable the clinician to discriminate between the normal changes that come with aging and potentially treatable disorders, and on treatments that are different or unique in older people, with an emphasis on the different forms of dementia, anxiety disorders, and paranoia. Of particular value is a chapter on family caregiving—often omitted in aging texts. Other chapters include, consultation in nursing homes and other institutional settings, approaches for successful interventions, and a closing chapter on ethical issues. Throughout the volume, charts, tables, and a clear and very readable style make the complexities of the material understandable. Strongly recommended for anyone working with the aging population.
Caregivers’ Guide for Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant: Practical Perspectives, National Bone Marrow Transplant Link (nbmtLink) (2003) (800) 546-5268 or (248) 358-1886, www.nbmtlink.org, downloadable for free or $12 to purchase a copy. This booklet offers thoughtful, practical advice from nine personal perspectives—those of a husband, mother, caregiver advocate, patient advocate, nurse, oncology social worker and three patients—covering different aspects of undergoing, or caring for someone undergoing, this procedure. Specific topics addressed include cancer etiquette, the emotional aspects of caregiving, symptom management, tips for caregivers of children undergoing BMT, relying on your “family of strangers”—i.e., your caregiving community, the unrelated donor transplant process, and how to be a successful caregiver. Included in the booklet is a resource listing of organizations, books and videos for caregivers. The booklet itself is full of excellent advice. Other guides relating to bone marrow/stem cell transplant are also available from nbmtLink, and a free Online Library can be accessed from the website.
The Comfort of Home Stroke Edition: An Illustrated Step-by-Step Guide for Stroke Caregivers, Maria M. Meyer and Paula Derr with Jon Caswell (2007); and The Comfort of Home Parkinson Disease Edition: An Illustrated Step-by-Step Guide for Parkinson Disease Caregivers, Maria M. Meyer and Paula Derr with Susan C. Imke (2007) $24.95 each, CareTrust Publications LLC, Portland, OR, (800) 565-1533. These two basic books for caregivers, families and patients of stroke and Parkinson’s cover all aspects of in-home care, are easy to read, and are very well organized. The layout, in manual style with clear headings and bulleted or numbered items, makes the material very accessible. Each book is divided into three parts: Getting Ready, Day-by-Day, and Additional Resources. Getting Ready puts the information that you need to know first up front, including first symptoms, about the disease, medications and other treatments, using the health care team effectively, getting in-home help, preparing the home, equipment and supplies. The Day by Day sections walk the reader through setting up a plan of care, avoiding caregiver burnout, direct care tasks, diet, nutrition and exercise, body mechanics (positioning, moving and transfers), and emergencies. Additional chapters on therapies and special challenges are included in the Stroke guide. In both, tips, notes and resources are included throughout, as well as sample forms.
Happy New Year to You! A Read-Aloud Book for Memory-Challenged Adults, Lydia Burdick, Illustrated by Jane Freeman (2006) Health Professions Press, Baltimore, MD, (410) 337-9585, www.healthpropress.com. With its warm, friendly and upbeat style and vibrant colors, this is an appealing picture book to share with a person with Alzheimer’s or other memory impairment. Like the earlier Sunshine on My Face by the same author, it is large enough to fit “two laps” at once for reading together. Each page illustrates a month of the year, accompanied by a simple text presenting a common theme for the month. The many activities and diverse characters of all ages portrayed in this lively book present lots to talk or reminisce about. At the back of the book, sample conversation starters and songs for each page help to add to the enjoyment and encourage interaction. Suggestions on how to use the book are also included.
Parkinson’s Disease: A complete guide for patients & families, Second Edition, W. J. Weiner, L. M. Shulman, and A. E. Lang (2007) Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, www.press.jhu.edu. The title says it all. Written by three neurologist/medical-school professors, this book is quite readable and well organized. It is for anybody with an interest in PD. It describes the disease at preclinical, early, middle, and late stages in an understandable way by breaking down symptoms into manageable pieces. The authors address the use, side effects, and interactions of medications for the disease and other conditions for which a patient may be treated, as well as the psychiatric symptoms that may arise from having the disease. In addition to traditional Western approaches to the treatment of PD, the authors give a respectful nod to some nontraditional interventions, along with sound advice about some treatments that lack rigorous study. The final chapter answers a number of questions a thoughtful reader may have about PD in the areas of basics of PD, prognosis, fitness and nutrition, work and leisure, medications, and disability.
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