Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation: 25 Years: 100 Issues
“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” This quote by Vincent Van Gogh helps sum up the last 25 years or 100 issues of Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation (TGR). TGR began more than 25 years ago when Margaret Quinlin from Aspen Publishers approached me to consider editing a multidisciplinary journal on geriatric rehabilitation. Consider? I did not even let her finish the question. I jumped at the chance to do this. It is not often that someone asks you to do something you have dreamt of doing and is willing to support you while doing it.
The first few years were so exciting with my new and energetic editorial board. Our very first issue: “Exercise and Aging” (Vol 1, Issue 1) won the American Publishers' Award for the Most Outstanding Issue of a Scientific Journal. What a thrilling start! At that time, 25 years ago, geriatrics was but a thought or at best an infant in its development within medicine and rehabilitation.
Since that time, the specialty of geriatric rehabilitation has grown and is attempting to keep up with the contiguous growth of the geriatric population, which will burgeon beyond our wildest imagination beginning in the year 2011. Jules Rothstein coined a visual for this in his article titled “Sex Appeal.”1 He said, ... “the Baby Boomers will be devouring health care resources like a swarm of locust devouring a field of wheat.” This image has always spurred me on to search for the most efficient and effective means of assisting this population in staying independent and maintaining their quality of life. It is my hope that TGR has fueled the fire of evidence-based knowledge through research, clinical reviews, and practical information for the healthcare team to do just that.
Over the past 25 years, our topics have ranged from “Rehabilitation and the Quality of One's Life” to “Foot Care and the Elderly.” We have touched on controversial issues such as “Driver Cessation,” “The Future of Aging,” and “Sexuality and Intimacy.” Many issues have been dedicated to orthopedic, neurological, psychological, pharmacological, ethical, and functional issues. We won another award in 2005 from the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association, International for the Advancement of Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation.
I would like to share one quick story about a particular issue that holds a special place in my heart and on my bookshelf. Several years ago, Charity Johannsen asked if she could do an issue on “Geriatric Rehabilitation for the Soul.” I said sure but was not really sure of what would follow. Dr Johannsen turned in her issue in perfect form and exactly on time. That was not the striking part of this effort. Her issue contained such meaningful articles that it made me weep, reflect, and read it 3 times. I do love all the issues of TGR but this one really touched me. So I sent it off to the editor at the time, who had always been a rather gruff to the point sort of person. About a week later, she called in tears telling me how much she enjoyed the issue and that it had changed her life. I believe all of our issues touch people, but I certainly never expected my hard-edged editor to feel that way. It is so nice to know that our journal connects with all types of people and change their lives.
I have had the honor of working with the highest-caliber editors from a myriad of settings and geographic areas. I personally want to again thank all of you for your support through the years. I admire your determination and attention to detail that made your issues so clinically relevant and a pleasure to read. I also want to thank my editorial board for staying with TGR for all these years. Your input and support have been invaluable. In addition, I would like to thank Dr Nancy Kirsch for this particular issue of TGR. I am so glad it is our 100th issue. Dr Kirsch and all her authors have taken a novel approach via case study intertwined with full articles to provide an outstanding compilation, a very difficult but extremely important aspect of geriatric rehabilitation: ethics. You did a wonderful job. Thank you.
Finally, I want to thank all of the people at Lippincott Williams & Wilkins for their patience, support, and tremendous assistance in compiling and publishing TGR. I would especially like to thank Donna Caldwell for her numerous hours of work and commitment to our journal. She has been a rock and unparalleled resource. Thanks for putting up with me.
So where are we going from here? The future has so much promise for TGR. Some of the topics for the next few years are as follows: International Rehabilitation; Aquatic Therapy; Community-Based Rehabilitation; End of Life Care; Obesity, Fitness and Aging; Diabetes; Assistive Technology; Cardiopulmonary; and Multimodal Rehabilitation for Alzheimer's Disease, to name a few.
The future is so exciting. I think Dr Jonas Salk sums it up the best “I feel that the greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more.” Thanks to all of you for this wonderful opportunity to share and improve the quality of life for older persons.
—Carole Bernstein Lewis, DPT, PT, GTC, GCS, MSG, MPA, PhD, FAPTA
Associate Clinical Professor, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore