Handbook of Innovative Programs for the Impaired Elderly. Killeffer EHP, Bennett R, Gruen G. New York, The Haworth Press, 1985, 126 pages, hardcover.
This handbook is the product of a two-year research survey of innovative programs for the elderly across the country from 1980 to 1982. The survey was an effort to gather comprehensive, systematic information about the programs being provided by long-term care facilities for meeting their resident's needs. The programs described in the book were drawn from questionnaires returned by the 274 responding facilities.
The purpose of the handbook, clearly communicated by the authors, is to expand the awareness of all long-term care facility staff at various levels - administrative, nursing, therapy, activities, social services, and support - of programs that can be provided to meet the individual and collective needs of all residents, including the severely debilitated. The authors' intention to provide fresh ideas and stimulating communication among long-term care providers to improve the quality of life of institutionalized residents is also well stated. The authors encourage readers to try new program ideas in their own facilities and to consult with facilities listed as information resources to learn more about particular innovative programs.
The handbook is divided into three major chapters that focus on and describe three program categories: physical activity, rehabilitation, and community linkage programs. Each of the chapters explains the program categories, and provides the reader with brief narrative descriptions of program classifications, disabilities accommodated, goals, evaluations of the effectiveness of the programs, and a list of information resources or facilities that provide such programs.
The handbook is a valuable resource for administrators, educators, therapists, and practitioners in longterm care facilities as well as for students in gerontology and allied health disciplines. A brief definition or description of impairments in elderly persons would have made the book a better resource for correlating existing impairments found in the majority of elderly residents in these facilities with the innovative programs described. Nonetheless, the book addresses the issue of improving quality of life for institutionalized elderly persons through creative and stimulating programming.
The value of the book lies in its addition and contribution to existing research on innovative programs for impaired elderly. It also adds to the current literature on programs provided by long-term care facilities for meeting residents' needs.
The chapters are well organized and written in a clear style. The tables and appendix assist in describing the programs. I recommend this book because of the valuable information and implications it contains that could assist long-term care providers to implement more enriching programs for their residents.