OVER 55: A Handbook on Aging by

OVER 55: A Handbook on Aging

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In tote: 40 articles on some physical, mental, emotional, and financial aspects of aging--but better suited to professionals than to those immediately involved. The first 20 pieces (mostly by physicians from Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia) deal in textbook fashion with arthritis, gastrointestinal diseases, neurologic diseases, orthopedic disorders, and so on; and it is here that the tone is especially dense and professional. Labeling is pervasive (""osteoarthritics too often spend large sums of money trying one antirheumatic after another""; ""most victims"" of lupus do well); and some topics are so briefly covered as only to raise more questions--and more fears. (""Choking"" of the heart by excess fluid in the pericardium, we are told offhandedly, can be immediately relieved by removal of the fluid with a syringe and needle.) The pieces on various other health-related topics--diet, exercise, plastic surgery, physical therapy--come off slightly better (though we still hear about ""the leg, a weight-bearing limb""); those on psychiatric and everyday-coping problems, however, are jargon-strewn and remote (""the mature aging individual is aware that life is a series of choices. . .""). The final chapters on insurance, retirement income, and funeral planning, though pertinently informative, also require application--and offer nothing not more capably covered in specialized guides. In the absence of a patient perspective, much the same can be said of the voluminous health material too.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1982
Publisher: Franklin Institute--dist. by Scribners