Commonsense Geriatrics. Thompson MK, Bristol, England, Clinical Press, 1990, 206 pages, $12.50, hardcover.
Dr M. Keith Thompson, a general practitioner in England, writes an enlightening book about old age using the underlying concept that age change is due to human development rather than decline or degeneration. Known throughout the world for his interest in the health care of the elderly in the community, Thompson relates his knowledge and expertise about the elderly patient population in his book.
This physician-authored book is divided into seven chapters, beginning with a demographic view of the aging situation in the world and the United Kingdom and ending with a reflection on the aims of elderly care along the life span. The chapters in between explore the theories of the aging process; common clinical problems related to the elderly; the physiological differences in the elderly; family, community, and societal considerations; and the various practice sites in which to treat elderly patients. At the end of each chapter, references and bibliography lists cite current books and journals for additional reading.
This book is written from the socialized medicine perspective found in the United Kingdom. Some British terminology and health-care concepts may seem foreign to the American reader. This is especially evident in the several personal experiences about his elderly patients that Thompson incorporates in each chapter. Thompson clearly emphasizes that common sense as well as gerontological knowledge are necessary components in caring for the elderly population.
This book will serve as an excellent reference for gerontological nurse practitioners who work with the elderly in any care setting. The text is written without medical jargon, thereby making it a recommended book for all professionals who work with elderly populations.