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Ageing, Health and CareReview - Ageing, Health and Care
by Christina R. Victor
Policy Press, 2010
Review by Leo Uzych, J.D., M.P.H.
May 24th 2011 (Volume 15, Issue 21)

Ageing, Health and Care is a book about the health of older persons, with a geographic focus sharply on the UK.  The author, Christina R. Victor, is a Professor of Gerontology, at Brunel University, West London.  As styled and composed substantively, the book is strongly academic.  A multitude of complex issues relating to later life health are evaluated in expertly informative fashion.  The expert evaluation of issues notably encompasses consideration of gender, class, and ethnicity.  Critical evaluation of stereotypes, regarding the health of older persons, is a further notable aspect of Victor's discerning discourse.  The overall didactic appeal of the book is quite considerable. 

The text has characteristic structural features.

"Key points", presented at a chapter's start, introduce the reader pithily to key substantive "points" that will be considered in the chapter.

There are also "Key points", given at a chapter's end, which summarize briefly a particular chapter's substantive essence.

A "Further reading" section, placed also at a chapter's end, provides citations, alphabetized by author last name, for research materials pertinent to a particular chapter's substantive contents.

Multitudinous citations, alphabetized as well by author last name, for research materials referenced in the text are also given in a "Bibliography", following the text.

A "Useful websites" structural section, placed additionally at a chapter's end, provides addresses for websites relevant to a particular chapter.

Numerous "Tables", embedded in the textual terrain, add materially to the text's didactic worth.

Here and there in the text, intellectual tasks ("Activities"), in the form of questions connected germanely to the adjoining substantive matter, are assigned to the reader; these typically thoughtful questions are often composed quite well to fortify the text's instructive value.

"Further activities", situated characteristically at a chapter's end, make didactic requests and likewise pose thoughtful questions of a pertinent nature.

The textual contents are extensively research referenced.  The rich abundance of referenced research materials strongly buttresses  the academic strength of the text.

Considerable quantitative data contribute further to the text's academic vitality.

Some anecdotal fragments are insinuated into textual crevices.

The substantive body of the text is suffused with informative discourse pertaining to aging, health, and care.  The ambit of discussion is relatively wide.  Chronic illness and disability (Chapter 3), mental health and psychological wellbeing (Chapter 4), " anti-aging" medicine and lifestyle (Chapter 5), responses to the needs of older people (Chapter 6), and the health of older persons in the future (Chapter 7) are some of the key pillars upholding the text's substantive foundation.

 The focus, geographically, of the book is principally on the UK, but critics may caution that later life health and care may differ in other countries.

There may be additional critical concern that Victor has used a relatively broad brush to paint a pithy summary of multifarious issues of a complex nature.

Readers should be mindful, as well, that the research literature, relevant to the health and care of older persons, continues to evolve.

But overall, the discourse of Victor is noteworthy for being quite instructively informative; it is also characteristically bound quite securely to referenced research materials.

The long list of professionals who may be considerably enhanced professionally by this edifying book includes:  gerontologists, social gerontologists, geriatricians, epidemiologists, biostatisticians, demographers, public health professionals, sociologists, medical sociologists, social scientists, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, biologists, population biologists, actuaries, exercise physiologists, nutritionists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, primary care physicians, internists, health administrators, health policy makers, health care economists, and law makers.

 

© 2011 Leo Uzych

 

Leo Uzych (based in Wallingford, PA) earned a law degree, from Temple University; and a master of public health degree, from Columbia University.  His area of special professional interest is healthcare.  Twitter @LeoUzych


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