Home reference manual for older people and those who care about them.
Merck Pharmaceuticals have edited a clear and comprehensive reference for older adults. Dr. Mark Beers begins with the age-old questions: when does a person become old and why does the body change? The remainder of this guide is divided into preventive and active care for self and others. The list of topics is a virtual everything you want to know about aging: nutritional needs, finding a doctor, understanding tests, surgery and rehabilitation, and long term care. More than one hundred specific medical conditions including fractures, constipation, tinnitus, dental disease, and dementia are explained and cross referenced with useful details. Although a clinical explanatory model prevails, non-traditional methods such as acupuncture and homeopathy receive honorable mention. The guide takes an unflinching look at sexuality, end of life decisions, and mistreatment of elderly adults. Other practical c! hapters are devoted to driving dilemmas and navigating the Byzantine financing of health care. This information is punctuated with essays from older adults--including a cheeky Max Sendak cartoon. The essays, along with charts, photos, and illustrations help to lessen the book's encyclopedic tone. Many older adults and the people who care for them will welcome the well-organized format and richly detailed information of this guide. --Barbara Mackoff