Gerontologie Nursing: Care of the Frail Elderly. Burke MM, Walsh ME (eds). St. Louis: Mosby Year Book, 524 pages, softcover.
Usually defined as being 75 years of age or older with multiple and complex health care needs, the frail elderly population is a challenging group for gerontological nurses. This book, according to its preface, was written as a comprehensive textbook to provide nurses on all levels with a solid gerontological knowledge base about the unique needs of this population.
This book is comprised of 18 chapters with various contributors. The first three chapters provide an introduction to gerontological nursing and an exploration of the demographics of the frail elderly population. The next 12 chapters focus on the unique, age-related areas of change in the frail elderly, including changes in sensation, cognition, respiration, urinary elimination, nutrition and digestion, regulatory function, and cardiovascular function, as well as changes in mobility, sexuality, the integumentary system, sleep, and safety. Relevant nursing diagnoses are included within these chapters as well as nursing interventions particular to the nursing home environment and the private family /home setting. The final three chapters explore the areas of death and dying, legal considerations, and future care needs. At the end of each chapter, the references and bibliographies list current books and journal articles that are excellent resources for the reader. The appendix includes three nursing care plans written by gerontological nurse specialists and examples of functional assessment tools.
The authors of this book have provided both a timely and valuable tool for gerontological nurses who are working with a population that is getting increasingly older and frailer. This book makes an important contribution toward the recognition of the unique health care needs of the frail elderly population. The chapter on the integumentary system is especially well-written and includes many graphic photographs that will enhance the assessment skills of gerontological nurses. Also, nurse educators will find this book to be an excellent resource for lectures. Gerontological Nursing: Care of the Frail Elderly is a recommended book for nurses working with the frail elderly population in all areas of the long-term care continuum.