Healthy Aging: Challenges and Solutions By K. Dychtwald (Ed.); 1999; Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen; 415 pages; soft cover; $49
As baby boomers increasingly make the transition to aging boomers, an aging populace appears to be America's demographic destiny. The volume of contributions culled in Healthy Aging: Challenges and Solutions is particularly timely because it offers a wealth of information related to healthy aging. The contributors to this volume include distinguished academicians, health care professionals, public policy experts, and economists.
As the book plainly underscores, healthy aging, directly and indirectly, is associated with myriad, contentious issues encompassing health care research, clinical practice, public policy, and economics. The various contributors, individually and collectively, emphasize that more research is needed to effectually study the multidimensional nature of healthy aging.
The information, presented in 26 chapters, should light the path for healthy aging. Several chapters focus on the science of healthy aging and draw attention to such topics as longevity, compressed morbidity, physical fitness, Alzheimer's disease, and biotechnology. The book contains several chapters examining the the "gerontologizing" of the practice of health care.
Health care financing, germane to healthy aging, is the focus of a third part of the volume. The perplexing and troubling puzzle of long-term care, disability issues, Medicare reform, Medicare HMOs, and health care for older adults from a macroeconomic perspective are covered in this part. The fourth, and last, part of the volume studies self-care and wellness-related matters.
The book's amalgam of timely subjects appertaining to healthy aging have a potential to incite robust public policy debate. The expansive range of the book makes it a bit amorphous in nature, with no narrowly defined target audience. Some chapters are quite didactic in nature and research-oriented. Others are highly suited for lay readers. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in healthy aging, including researchers, clinicians, policy makers, and lay people.