The 36-Hour Day, Revised Edition Maces NL, Rabins PV. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1 991 ; 329 pages, $9.95, paperbound.
The revised edition of this classic resource is even better than the original. The content reflects the growing depth and breadth of understanding of the myriad issues surrounding the care of persons with dementia.
Designed as a handbook, the book's greatest strength is its practical usefulness. Readers do not need to read it cover to cover. In fact, doing so may be overwhelming, particularly for family caregivers. The table of contents is clear and comprehensive, facilitating ease of access to situation-specific information.
Intended for family caregivers, the book is equally useful for professionals and para-professionals worldwide in the field of gerontology/geriatrics. Thepoignancy of the vignettes and practicality of the interventions, written with the absence of medical jargon, have a broad application for families. Because few professional caregivers receive training/ education on issues of dementia to the extent offered in this book, it will be useful for their own knowledge and skill development, as well as for offering intervention suggestions to clients.
Nearly all of the sections in the book have been revised, rewritten, updated, or added. For example, Chapter 3 now includes a section that explains the actions of people with dementia. A section on what to do when you suspect that someone living alone is getting confused is included in Chapter 4. More information has been added to Chapter 5 regarding how to handle the problems of the later stages of dementia. Suggestions from families for managing behaviors have been included in Chapter 7. Because of the growth of outside resources, Chapter 10 has been entirely rewritten. In addition to the types of services available, sections are included that deal with the feelings evoked when the confused person rejects care and feelings associated with getting respite for oneself. Other chapters address the effect of dementia on the family, legal and financial issues, causes of dementia, and research.
The 36-Hour Day is one of the most comprehensive and useful books of its kind. Changes in the revised edition make it a worthwhile addition to gerontology professionals' personal libraries, even if they own the first edition. Geriatric assessment centers and other types of elder service providers would well serve the families of dementia clients by providing them with this book. At the very least, all families caring for persons with any type of dementia should be encouraged to purchase this book.