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Physical Change and Aging, Sixth Edition

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Physical Change and Aging, Sixth Edition

SKU# 9780826198648

A Guide for the Helping Professions

Author: Sue V. Saxon PhD, Elizabeth A. Perkins PhD, RNMH, Mary Jean Etten EdD, GNP, FT,

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[This book] has been honed into an elegant compendium. This outstanding work should be widely read ñ it is perhaps the best example of an integrative approach to gerontology. Score: 94, 4 stars ñ Doody's

"Phyisical Change & Aging has been a well-respected resource for caregivers ever since it was published in 1978. This updated version carries on the tradition of providing valuable information on the aging process and age-related health issues. ñ Former First Lady Mrs. Rosalynn Carter

This sixth edition of a classic multidisciplinary text for students of gerontology continues to offer practical, reader-friendly information about the physical changes and common pathologies associated with the aging process. It places special emphasis on the psychological and social implications of these changes in the lives of older adults. The book is distinguished by its thorough focus on anatomy and physiology and common health problems pertaining to each body system. It emphasizes the positive aspects of aging and demonstrates how the elderly population can gain greater personal control, through lifestyle changes and preventive health strategies, toward the goal of optimal aging.

This sixth edition has been thoroughly updated to present new research findings that differentiate "normal" aging from actual pathology and includes substantially updated information on diagnosis and treatment. It incorporates new data from healthy older adults demonstrating that the aging process is not necessarily as devastating as earlier research had indicated. The book provides new data and guidelines on risk factors, nutrition, preventive measures, interventions, and commonly prescribed medications, and includes expanded treatment of complementary and alternative therapies. Also included is an updated discussion of grief, ethical issues, and funeral options. The book reinforces information with practical applications of aging data. Written for students of gerontology, social work, human services, nursing, medicine, occupational and physical therapy, counseling, and elder law, it presents information that is clearly understandable for those without an extensive background in biology or medicine. Additionally, the book is a useful practitioner's guide and an easily understandable book for family caregivers.


  • Diagnosis and treatment
  • Behaviors and interventions that promote more control over an individual's aging process
  • Genetic/DNA theories
  • Dementia and Parkinson's disease
  • Immunotherapy
  • Lifelong health disparities
  • Animal-assisted therapy
  • Prayer and meditation
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Geragogy (self-directed learning)
  • Caregiver health as a public health issue
  • Natural funerals (biodegradable caskets, burial urns, dying at home)

Product Details 

  • Publication Date August 27, 2014
  • Page Count 520
  • Product Form Paperback / softback
  • ISBN 13 9780826198648
  • EISBN 9780826198655

About The Author(s) 

Sue V. Saxon, PhD, is professor emeritus at the School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida. She received her PhD in developmental psychology and counseling from Florida State University and pursued additional graduate work in physiological psychology at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Saxon was a research psychologist for the National Institutes of Health and for the Laboratory of Perinatal Physiology at the University of Puerto Rico Medical School, before joining the faculty in behavioral sciences at the University of South Florida. As a charter faculty member in the Aging Studies program, she has developed and taught numerous courses in aging as well as presented workshops, given in-service training, and authored a number of books and book chapters on aging. She has been designated a Gerontological Pioneer for outstanding achievement and exemplary contributions to the field of gerontology by the Southern Gerontological Society.

Mary Jean Etten, EdD, GNP, CMP, FT, has been tenured full professor in the College of Nursing at St. Petersburg College, where she taught nursing, gerontology, and thanatology and developed an innovative curriculum teaching hospice care to nurses. She is currently an adjunct lecturer in thanatology in the School of Aging Studies at the University of South Florida. Dr. Etten received her doctoral degree in education from Nova Southeastern University and master's degrees in gerontology, counseling, and nursing from the University of South Florida. Dr. Etten is also a gerontological nurse practitioner. She is a fellow in thanatology and is board certified as a music practitioner. She has authored several books and manuals, as well as journal articles. She was a founder of Suncoast Hospice in 1978 and has remained on its boards for more than 35 years. In 2012 a building at Suncoast Hospice was dedicated in her honor. She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tampa Bay Business Journal in 2013.

Elizabeth A. Perkins, PhD, RNMH, FAAIDD, is a research assistant professor and associate director of the Florida Center for Inclusive Communities – a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities – at the University of South Florida (USF). She has a PhD in aging studies from the School of Aging Studies at USF. Dr. Perkins is also an RNMH (a registered nurse in the field of developmental disabilities) who trained at the Hereford and Worcestershire College of Nursing and Midwifery in England. She has published numerous journal articles and was recently the guest editor of the Special Issue on Aging and End-of-Life for the American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Dr. Perkins is a fellow and current member of the Board of Directors of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), and has previously served as the Gerontology Division president for AAIDD and co-convener of the Special Interest Group on Lifelong Disabilities for the Gerontological Society of America.

Table of Contents 

Foreword : TBD

Endorsement: Rosalyn Carter Preface

1 Perspectives on Aging

2 Theories of Aging

3 The Skin, Hair, and Nails

4 The Musculoskeletal System

5 The Nervous System

6 Dementia and Delirium

7 The Sensory System

8 The Cardiovascular System

9 The Respiratory System

10 The Gastrointestinal System

11 The Urinary System

12 The Reproductive System

13 The Endocrine System

14 The Immune System

15 Aging with Lifelong Disabilities

16 Health Promotion and Leisure

17 Complementary and Alternative Therapies

18 Nutrition

19 Medications and the Elderly

20 Teaching Older Adults

21 Caregiving

22 Death and Grief in the Later Years

Appendix A Practical Hints for the Safety of Older Adults