Publication edited by Professor Joseph Troisi Aging in Turkey (Malta : International Institute on Ageing, United Nations - Malta, ISBN -13 : 978-99932-0-453-4; ISBN-10 : 99932-0-453-6) is the title of a new edited publication from Joseph Troisi, Professor of Sociology and Director of the European Centre for Gerontology, University of Malta, and Yesim Gokce Kutsal, Director of Research, Center of Geriatrics Sciences (GEBAM), Hacettepe University, Turkey.
Troisi and Gokce are to be congratulated for producing a state-of-the-art guide to the current body of knowledge, theory, practice and policy relevant to the development of population ageing in Turkey. The publication is a thought-provoking and enlightening piece of work that informs the reader well on the ageing situation in Turkey. In the introduction, the editors write that the aim of the publication is to demonstrate that “healthy aging should not be considered from the medical point of view but must be fully integrated into an overall holistic approach” (p. 5). This has surely been achieved since no less that 23 academics - all established researchers based in Turkey, and so, in an optimum position to provide a worthy contribution to the growing literature on the region - participated in the writing of the book. It is also welcoming that the book is essentially multi-disciplinary in perspective as the chapters cover a wide range of disciplines such as biostatistics, dentistry, dietetics, home economics, medicine, nursing, nutrition, pharmacy, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, and social work. The publication is based on a multi-disciplinary study of various characteristics and living conditions of 1,300 persons aged 65 and above who were living within the boundaries of Ankara Metropolitan Municipality.
Including ten chapters, the publication flows easily from one area of interest to another. Following an introductory chapter by Troisi and Gokce, chapter two provides a critical outline of the characteristics and living conditions of the sample of older persons who participated in the study. Chapter three then deals with ageing and public health by evaluating the living conditions, health problems and quality of life of participants. The next chapter focuses on the oral health problems of older persons that lead to oral dysfunction and ends by providing a dental profile of the participants. Chapter five is aimed at defining the profile of drug use among the participants and points out that the use of drugs among older persons in Turkey is as common as in other international settings. Chapter six analyses the physical independence and quality of life, and reports that the majority of participants considered difficulties in the visual function to be the most common barrier to engaging in physical activity. Nutrition is the focus of the next chapter as the author reports that although men were found to be at a greater risk compared to women, both genders recorded a high ratio of individuals with high nutrition risk scores. Chapter eight then studies the reasons why nursing services for older persons necessitate different knowledge, skills, and experience. Taking a more social gerontological perspective, the penultimate chapter studies the participants’ use of income, social relations, housing, transportation, activities related to home and family and use of time. The final chapter deals with improving the quality of life of older persons in the framework of universal human rights. It is also welcome to note that each chapter contains a number of recommendations. The publications ends by an impressive glossary which is indispensable for readers looking for a specific issue or concern.
Thinking in terms of its potential audience, both undergraduate and postgraduate students of social gerontology as well as professional gerontologists will find this publication useful. It can be warmly recommended even to lecturers and state officials as it surely has great relevance in specific areas for policy-making.