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For the book shelf...
In this column, INsite recommends some interesting reads on aged care.
Anni Ultimi: A Roman Stoic Guide to Retirement, Old Age and Death by Alan Scribner and J. C. Douglas Marshall (CreateSpace)
Anni Ultimi (Latin for “the final years”) explains how ancient Roman Stoicism applies to contemporary problems, especially those facing senior citizens.
When Lucius Annaeus Seneca was in his sixties and retired, he wrote a number of letters to a friend discussing problems associated with ageing. Seneca was a philosopher, lawyer, dramatist, essayist, natural scientist, and statesman and had been a leader in the government of the Roman Empire during the reign of Nero. He applied his wisdom as a Stoic and a great thinker to the final years of life and its components – retirement, old age, and death. Seneca’s insightful and provocative words and ideas translate to the present day, and this book conveys his thoughts on ageing to the modern reader.
The authors have selected and translated letters of Seneca that address and furnish sound advice on timeless issues of ageing.
With regard to retirement, Seneca takes up – among other things – the problems of when and whether to retire and how to do it, how to get off the treadmill of a busy career, what to do to enrich retirement, how to manage time, what resources a retiree really needs, and what is not needed.
As to old age, Seneca writes about recognising its arrival and how to understand the elements of old age, such as physical frailty and its effects, not only on oneself but also on family and friends. He also discusses how to enjoy the substantial advantages of being a senior.
With regard to death, Seneca discusses how to think about and prepare for death. He confronts major questions that everyone thinks about: the fear of death, when and if suicide may be appropriate, assessing the life you have led and what it all means, and what may or may not happen after death.
The authors believe modern readers will benefit from having many of their own concerns, hopes, and fears addressed by a thinker famous for his wisdom, who faced many of the same questions.
Whether modern seniors discuss these subjects openly or not, they are omnipresent in the minds of a population that is rapidly exploding.
Providing Good Care at Night for Older People: Practical Approaches for Use in Nursing and Care Homes by Diana Kerr and Heather Wilkinson (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)
The experiences and needs of residents and patients in nursing and care homes are very different at night, and this is particularly true for those with dementia. Yet nursing and care homes are not always inspected with the same rigour at night as they are during the day, and night staff do not always receive the same levels of training, resources, and supervision as day staff.
This book provides night staff, their managers, and anyone else with an interest in care homes during the night with the information, knowledge, and practical skills they need to deliver positive and appropriate care at night. The authors look at all the issues that are particularly pertinent in caring for older people at night, including nutrition and hydration, continence, challenging behaviour, medication, night time checking, pain management, and end of life care. They also look at the impact that working at night has on care staff, and offer practical suggestions to help them to safeguard their own health. The final chapter provides a set of night time care guidelines for inspectors that can also be used by managers to evaluate night time practices in their homes.
This book is essential reading for night staff and their managers and employers, as well as inspectors of services, policy makers, and anyone else with an interest in the provision of care for older people.
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