Promoting Successful Aging. Roff LL, Atherton CR, Chicago, NelsonHall, 1989, 281 pages, softbound.
Promoting Successful Aging is aimed at professionals preparing to work with the elderly. It is a consumer-oriented, pos-itive treatment of the issues and changes faced by older adults. Although not a gerontology text, it provides basic information on demographics, economics, physical and mental health problems, and housing.
The authors' philosophy on aging pervades the book. They demonstrate a commitment to freedom of choice and a supportive environment as basic requirements for successful aging. Components of these principles are enough money for a decent existence, adequate health services, a positive state of mental health, a safe environment, and satisfying relationships.
This philosophy is applied to a variety of vignettes to demonstrate how to work with older individuals, families, and groups. Throughout these chapters, the individuality of the client is stressed.
The book ends by encouraging readers to continue their education by keeping up with professional literature, participating in continuing education, becoming active in gerontological societies, and developing contacts among other professionals in the local community.
One cannot read this book without being "indoctrinated" into the authors' positive approach to providing services to older adults. Their respect and admiration for their clients would be contagious to a student or beginning professional. I recommend the book for students in health professions, social work, longterm care administration, community aging services, and seminaries.