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GERONTOLOGICAL NURSING 8TH ED.
By Charlotte Eliopoulos
576 pp., Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2013, $67.99 paperback, eBook available.
REVIEW: Charlotte Eliopoulos, a friend to JCN, has authored Gerontological Nursing since the first edition in 1979. This 8th edition is a beautiful book that reveals Charlotte's continuing passion for older adults. She writes, “If practiced competently, gerontological nursing is among the most complex and dynamic specialties nurses could select. A wide range of knowledge and skills is demanded, along with an appreciation for the richness of unique life experiences and the wisdom to understand that true healing comes from sources beyond medications and procedures” (p. xi).
Gerontological Nursing is extremely well organized, colorful, easy to read, and easy to use. Thirty-nine chapters are organized into seven units: Understanding the Aging Experience, Foundations of Gerontological Nursing, Fostering Connection and Gratification, General Care Concerns, Facilitating Physiological Balance, Multisystemic Disorders, and Gerontological Care Issues. In the 8th edition Eliopoulos has added aesthetic callouts that highlight and apply the content: “Terms to Know,” “Key Concepts,” “Bringing Research to Life,” and “Practice Realities.” These are added to the former features that include Chapter Outlines, Learning Objectives, Points to Ponder, Assessment Guides, Nursing Care Plans, and more. A teaching and learning package for instructors includes full access to the text, an image bank, a test generator, PowerPoint presentations, and journal articles published by LWW. Fun things like DocuCare give access to a simulated electronic health record that can help students practice charting from real-world clinical scenarios. Points to Ponder asks great questions like, “How would you evaluate the quality of the factors that promote longevity in your own life? (p. 19) and “What examples have you seen within your own family of differences in the way people respond to health challenges?” (p. 469).
Eliopoulos brings nursing care of older adults to vivid life. She offers critical information in an aesthetically pleasing fashion, asks stimulating questions, and guides nurses into understanding and offering holistic care. This text makes a great addition to geriatric and other hospital nursing units as well as to long-term care facilities. Student, educators, or practitioners will find this an outstanding resource.—KSS
THE GOLDEN YEARS
Healthy Aging & the Older Adult
By Christopher W. Bogosh
136 pp., Yulee, FL: GoodSamaritanBooks.org, $12.99, paperback.
REVIEW: Christopher Bogosh, a nurse and minister, has written a helpful resource for Christians in The Golden Years: Healthy Aging and the Older Adult. He offers a solid biblical understanding and sound physiology about aging and the aging body. He provides excellent health and spiritual information for living a healthy life and managing healthcare, including preventive services and common problems and chronic conditions of the elderly. I appreciate Bogosh's guiding principles for managing healthcare, noting “it is important to make a distinction between medical care to prolong life and medical care to manage symptoms” (p. 65) and placing healing, life, and death into a biblical framework. Bogosh explains the difference between prolonging life and managing symptoms so that laypersons can understand and engage in informed decision making about treatment.
The Golden Years is a great resource for laypersons as well as nurses (especially faith community nurses) trying to help Christians understand how to manage their health as they age. The book would make an excellent addition to any church library and is so reasonably priced I'd suggest having several copies on hand. It also would make a practical helpful gift to an elderly person. Discounted copies are available at www.goodsamaritanbooks.org—KSS
Living in the Memories of God
By John Swinton
308 pp., Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2012, $25.00, paperback, $16.99 eBook.
BRIEF: Dementia is one of the most feared diseases in Western society today. Some have gone so far as to suggest euthanasia as a solution to the perceived indignity of memory loss and the disorientation that accompanies it. In this book, John Swinton, a nurse and theologian, develops a practical theology of dementia for caregivers, people with dementia, ministers, hospital chaplains, and medical practitioners as he explores two primary questions:
* Who am I when I've forgotten who I am?
* What does it mean to love God and be loved by God when I have forgotten who God is?
Offering compassionate and carefully considered theological and pastoral responses to dementia and forgetfulness, Swinton's Dementia: Living in the Memories of God redefines dementia in light of the transformative counter story that is the Gospel. Swinton writes, “It will be one of the tasks of this book to show that, devastating as dementia undoubtedly is, the human beings experiencing it do not dissolve. They are certainly changed, and there is much suffering and cause for lament. But these people remain tightly held in the memories of God. It is our ideas about what humanness, the nature of the self, and self-fulfillment mean that will have to be dissolved and re-created.” (p. 15).
GREEN LEAVES FOR LATER YEARS
The Spiritual Path of Wisdom
By Emilie Griffin
180 pp., Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2012, $12.00, paperback, $9.60 eBook.
BRIEF: “What wisdom do I bring to the later years? Nothing more than the wisdom of dwelling in the present moment. No more than the courage of God's promises. Nothing more than the courage to walk through sorrow. No more than the unlimited future of God's love.” So, Emilie Griffin, author, teacher, spiritual director, writes in her seventy-fifth year. In these pages she reflects on the beauty and the difficulty of aging. Pain mingles with gratitude. With her we learn again how to draw close to the Lord who longs to guide us through. In Green Leaves Griffin reflects on aging and the ways the Christian faith informs the new challenges that come with it, like physical pain, loss, new goals, sustaining friendships, and eternity. Her goal is to help those living in the later years discover how to live deeply and well.
This book is ideal for both individuals and discussion groups; each chapter ends with reflection questions and a prayer. Griffin addresses key questions like how we deal with the losses of our later years through illness and death, and she encourages readers to look at the opportunities open to us in later years. Discover a spirituality that will sustain you in the later years in Green Leaves for Later Years.
Managing Bullying, Bad Attitudes, and Total Turmoil
By Cheryl Dellasega and Rebecca L. Volpe
336 pp., Indianapolis, IN: Sigma Theta Tau International, 2013, $34.95, paperback.
REVIEW: This is a must-have resource for any nurse, especially a manager, who struggles with difficult situations or relationships at work and wants to improve a toxic work environment. Dellasega and Volpe discuss about every type of negative situation nurses might encounter. Chapters like “The Newbie: Mistreatment of New Nurses,” “The Know-It-All/Criticism Queen,” “Gossip and Trash Talk,” “Incivility,” “The Murse” (male nurse), “Better Than You,” “Politics and CYA,” and “Nurse Managers as the Problem” apply to every condition that derails relationships in the workplace. The authors deal with relationship issues, competition, generational differences, educational and experience variances, managing diversity, and fallout from toxicity such as patients being victims of nurses' anger or problems with retention of staff. Numerous real-world vignettes help readers process through various problem situations. Reflection questions and activity suggestions apply ideas and solutions. Four appendixes include checklists to assess your workplace. “Is your management style causing conflict?,” “Conflict Case-Scenario,” “Organizational cynicism self-assessment,” and “When it's time to seek outside counsel” offer practical tools for assessment with directions toward change. This text is well written, easy to read, and very real life about issues nurses face in the workplace. I appreciate how the vignettes and questions help the reader to not only analyze others but examine him or herself for how he or she could be contributing to problem situations.
A fantastic thing about this book is you can look up a problem you are experiencing in your workplace (rudeness, gossip, putdowns, whining, etc.) and find what you need in a specific stand-alone chapter. In other words, don't be overwhelmed by this lengthy book; dive in and discover help for a difficult work relationship or recommendations toward changing your work environment. I think every nurse will relate to some aspect of this resource.—KSS