Care staff and voluntary workers in day centres and residential homes for elderly people have often expressed a need for a comprehensive, readable book to guide them through their first days and help them cope with any problems that may arise. This practical and imaginative handbook draws on the long experience of an occupational therapist working with elderly people in day centres. It provides a fund of advice on caring for people who may be frail, have communication difficulties or mobility problems. It describes how to design and organise a centre, how to use mobility aids and handle wheelchairs, how to move old people and adjust their hearing aids. The author even explains how to repair a wheelchair in an emergency. The second part of the book describes a huge range of stimulating activities, from craftwork and games to cookery, music and gardening, outings and exchanging reminiscences. Old people left with nothing to do rapidly lose their mental agility and interest in life. With a little encouragement, despite any disabilities, they can continue to acquire new interests and play a useful role in the community, and the materials and resources needed will often be donated or acquired very cheaply. The fully updated second edition is copiously illustrated with practical line drawings, and there is an extensive appendix providing useful addresses, helpful books and a listing of some of the conditions that may affect elderly people.
A. Murphy trained in Derby as an occupational therapist, and the material for this book has been gathered over many years while working in day centres and hospitals among elderly people with a variety of disabilities.