The Aging Network: Programs and Services. Gelfand DE. New York, Springer Publishing Company, 1984, 305 pages, softcover, $19.95.
The Aging Network: Programs and Services is a revised and updated edition of the 1980 publication. The author provides a clear and concise description of the variety of programs and services for the aged that have been developed with the assistance of the federal government. Practitioners are provided with a thorough, conceptual framework for understanding the components of a multitude of programs and services.
The book is divided into four major sections. Part 1 consists of two chapters that are concerned with describing the current conditions of the aged in the United States, while the second chapter examines the programs and services for the aged and their federal and state funding sources. Two of the chapters in Part 2 were written by Jules Berman. Berman addresses the role of income maintenance programs and the risks of inadequate income facing our aged population. Programs for the aged are discussed in the third part of the book. This section describes in detail such programs as informal, referral, health and mental health, transportation, and nutrition. Part 4 examines the services for the aged as well as the future of aging programs and services. Gelfand provides in the appendices a copy of the Older American Act of 1965 and the amendments through 1981. In addition, he lists the national nonprofit resource groups in aging and describes their purpose and publications that they sponsor.
Gerontological nurses, nursing faculty and students, and any other practitioner interested in understanding the field of aging and related programs and services will find this book a thorough and useful resource. With the rapid revenue cuts and the uncertain legislation affecting the programs and services, this book will need to be updated frequently. The strengths, however, still far outweigh the weaknesses. I highly recommend The Aging Network as required reading.