Two recently published books about aging hope to give meaning and happiness to readers as they plan for their senior years. “The End of Old Age” by Dr. Marc Agronin learned from his patients that it is possible to maintain purpose and meaning in life, even when faced with serious disease and disability, impaired mental and physical functioning and limited participation in activities. In “Happiness is a Choice You Make”, author John Leland shares life lessons learned from his interviews with the “oldest old” residents of New York City. Read the complete article:
By Jane E. Brody | New York Times
What’s the best way to develop a healthy perspective on old age? Spend more time with elderly people and discover what brings meaning and pleasure to their twilight years despite the losses, both physical and social, they may have suffered.
That’s what two authors of inspired and inspiring books about aging discovered and, happily, have taken the trouble to share with those of us likely to join the ranks of the “oldest old” in the not-too-distant future. Actually, the wisdom therein might be equally valuable for young and middle-aged adults who may dread getting old. To their detriment, some may even avoid interacting with old people lest their “disease” rub off on them.
Too many in our youth-focused culture currently regard the elderly with fear or disdain and consider them costly consumers of resources with little to offer in return. Given the explosive pace of technology that often befuddles the elderly, they command little or no respect for the repository of wisdom that was once cherished by the young (and still is in some traditional societies).
The first book I read was “The End of Old Age” by Dr. Marc E. Agronin, a geriatric psychiatrist at the Miami Jewish Home whose decades of caring for the aged have taught him that it is possible to maintain purpose and meaning in life even in the face of significant disease and disability, impaired mental and physical functioning and limited participation in activities. [read entire article]