(Rec.) Peter Tavel: Psychological problems in old age I. Puste Ulany 2009: Schola Phillosophica.
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The question of ageing belongs to the special category of frequently mentioned but at the same time abandoned problems of society. In western countries, ageing of population is the hot topic for sociologists and consequently for economists and physicians, too. Societies pay an attention on problems that represent the burden for society – how to cover the growing expenses for medical care, revenue payments, or salaries for people who take care of elderly. On the other hand, the source of all these problems – the question why old people remain abandoned in poor health and material resources – is constantly ignored. The picture of worshipful old age full of grace, wisdom and staidness definitely vanished with the arrival of new millennium. Nowadays, being old means to be alone, unhappy and ill. Facing the frequent complications of old age led into the more realistic picture, but caused harmful passivity, too. Illnesses, loneliness, and depressions are considered to be normal and integral part of old age. Publication “Psychological problems in Old Age I” represents the exceptional work in this field. Unlike the similar works, it does not end up with the list of problems connected with ageing, but offers the dozens of ways how they can be understood and handled. Reasonable amount of theoretical information together with practical advices based on personal experience provides balanced text useful for all categories of professionals working with elderly (author is the supervisor of the Mobile Hospice Niederösterreich). It concentrates on three mentioned problems of ageing, but as author states, the others as psychical disorders, criminality, abuse of alcohol and drugs, or sexual problems will be elaborated in second part of the book - “Psychological problems in Old Age II” which he prepares. Author´s professional background and monographs focused on problems of existence and functioning in the society (“The Meaning of Life by V. E. Frankl”, “Man among Men”, “Selected Topics from the Social Psychology”, “The Value of Old Age”) is a guarantee for deeply scientific and at the same time very practical publication.
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