Older Adults With Developmental Disabilities and Leisure Issues, Policy, and Practice by T. Tedrick (Ed.); 1996; New York: The Haworth Press, Inc.; 103 pages; hard cover; $29.95
This small book is a compilation of eight papers on a topic that heretofore has had minimal attention in a frequently ignored population. Yet, as reported in Chapter 1, the number of older adults with developmental disabilities is increasing rapidly, with more and more of them reaching the 6th, 7th, and 8th decades of life. As all of the authors point out in this book, leisure services are of growing importance because many individuals in this population are facing decisions about retirement and need a replacement for socialization, productivity, and feelings of self-worth. In addition, leisure activities of a physical nature enhance overall well-being and aid in forestalling complications from chronic conditions.
One highlight of the book is the chapter by Hoge and Wilhite, which details a recreation integration process along with models, materials, and related programs that are available to teach leisure education to clients, families, and professionals. Another important aspect of the book is the section in Chapter 8 that delineates the unique aspects of retirement as they relate to developmentally disabled older adults. Both of these highlights will be of benefit to nurses working with developmentally disabled individuals. However, the book holds little merit for nurses in any other practice.
While the book plays an important part regarding the subject of leisure, there are areas that need improvement. These include: a) portions of the book have poor grammatical structure with incomplete sentences and inappropriately placed modifiers; b) reference to innovative programs involving leisure that have been developed that only cite the research study rather than providing a description of the programs; c) no index to facilitate finding materials with each case; and d) a heavy focus on the issues aspect of the topic with minimal attention paid to ways in which to implement the practice portion. In addition, the book only peripherally addresses strategies for providing leisure activities for individuals with low cognitive function. Finally, 14% of the book is a listing of references.