Volume 50, Issue 10, October 2021

Book review: The care of the older person

Glenn Duns   
doi: 10.31128/AJGP-05-21-5990   |    Download article
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The care of the older person book cover

Editors: Olivier Beauchet, Howard Bergman, Ronald M Caplan, Abraham Fuks, Serge Gauthier, Phil Gold, Jose A Morais
Oconomowoc, US: RMC Publishing LLC, 2021
Paperback ISBN 9781735009346

One of the appealing features of general practice is the ability to shift the scope of one’s practice over time as new interests develop. With the well-recognised global demographic shift towards an ageing population, and having taken on a clinical role with an emphasis on healthy ageing, I’ve found myself taking more interest in the ageing process and what it means to age well. It was therefore serendipitous that the book The care of the older person came to my attention.

The editors have set themselves the task of covering a wide range of topics for a broad audience. The book aims to ‘provide concrete answers for care providers of all kinds’, ‘spouses and children of elderly’ and ‘[most] importantly, this information is for seniors themselves, who want to feel empowered in their stage of life’.1 Introductory chapters provide a broad overview of ageing and health, including public health aspects. They are followed by chapters that focus on specific topics within ageing and aged care.

Chapters are written by authors from a variety of backgrounds, resulting in a range of styles and perspectives. I found this to be interesting and engaging. For example, the chapter on diagnosis and management of Alzheimer’s disease, written by the director of Alzheimer’s research at a major institution, is followed by a chapter on the journey of the caregiver that is written by an Alzheimer’s care consultant. This inclusion of the lived experience of patients and carers as an integral component of clinical care provides an essential perspective.

Most chapters start and finish with case studies, which emphasises the clinical relevance of the presented material. There is also a chapter on COVID-19 that reflects the aim of keeping the information current and relevant.

Most of the information is presented from the North American context, which may limit the relevance for some readers, but I did note efforts to provide an international context. For example, resources from different countries are provided, and instruments that are described in the book have been validated in Australia.2 Subsequent editions written specifically for the Australian context would be welcome. As a primary care doctor, I would also have liked more material presented from the primary care perspective, but this is a reflection of the scope of a book that targets a broad audience.

In summary I found this to be a readable, engaging and thought-provoking book that offers a broad overview of ageing and aged care, while at the same time providing detailed and relevant clinical information.

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  1. RMC Publishing. Care of the older person. Oconomowoc, US: RMC Publishing LLC, 2021. Available at [Accessed 4 April 2021]. Search PubMed
  2. Susanto M, Hubbard RE, Gardiner PA. Validity and responsiveness of the FRAIL scale in middle-aged women. J Am Med Dir Assoc 2018;19(1):65–69. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2017.08.003. Search PubMed

Aged care

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