Old age

In his bestselling The Soul's Code, James Hillman    restored passion and meaning to the concept of identity, arguing that each of us is born with an innate character, the "daimon" or "spirit" that calls us  to what we are meant to be. Now, in The Force of Character, Hillman brings the idea of character full circle, offering a revolutionary new vision of life's most feared and misunderstood chapter: old age.
    
"Aging is no accident," Hillman writes. "It is necessary to the human condition, intended by the soul." We become more characteristic of who we are simply by lasting into later years; the older we become, the more our true natures emerge. Thus the final years have a very important purpose: the fulfillment and confirmation of one's character.
      
Contrary to the current genetic determinism that sees increased longevity as a wasted aberrance created by civilization, The Force of Character presents an explosive new thesis: The changes of old age, even the debilitating ones, have purposes and values organized by the psyche. Memory for recent events may falter, offering more place for long-term recollections. A heart condition in later life brings an opportunity to remove blockages from constricted relationships, while changes in sleep patterns allow the old to experience the profound elements of nighttime that we usually overlook. As Hillman says, "Aging makes metaphors of biology."
  
In this empowering and original work, James Hillman resurrects the ancient, widespread, and socially effective idea of the old person as "ancestor," a model for the young, the bearer of a society's cultural memory and traditions. America disregards old people who aren't young-acting and young-looking. We don't realize that "oldness" is an archetypal state of being that can add value and luster to things we treasure, places we revere, and people's character. When we open our imaginations to the idea of the ancestor, aging can free us from convention and transform us into a force of nature, releasing our deepest beliefs for the benefit of society.  For all who read it, The Force of Character will be a seminal,  life-affirming experience.
The Long Life invites the reader to range widely from the writings of Plato through to recent philosophical work by Derek Parfit, Bernard Williams, and others, and from Shakespeare's King Lear through works by Thomas Mann, Balzac, Dickens, Beckett, Stevie Smith, Philip Larkin, to more recent writing by Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, and J. M. Coetzee. Helen Small argues that if we want to understand old age, we have to think more fundamentally about what it means to be a person, to have a life, to have (or lead) a good life, to be part of a just society. What did Plato mean when he suggested that old age was the best place from which to practice philosophy - or Thomas Mann when he defined old age as the best time to be a writer - and were they right? If we think, as Aristotle did, that a good life requires the active pursuit of virtue, how will our view of later life be affected? If we think that lives and persons are unified, much as stories are said to be unified, how will our thinking about old age differ from that of someone who thinks that lives and/or persons can be strongly discontinuous? In a just society, what constitutes a fair distribution of limited resources between the young and the old? How, if at all, should recent developments in the theory of evolutionary senescence alter our thinking about what it means to grow old? This is a groundbreaking book, deep as well as broad, and likely to alter the way in which we talk about one of the great social concerns of our time - the growing numbers of those living to be old, and the growing proportion of the old to the young.
From the author of Composing a Life (first published in 1991 and still in print), an inspiring exploration of a new stage of the life cycle, “Adulthood II,” created by unprecedented levels of health, energy, time, and resources—of which we have barely begun to be fully conscious.

Mary Catherine Bateson sees aging today as an “improvisational art form calling for imagination and willingness to learn,” and in this ardent, affirming study, she relates the experiences of men and women—herself included—who, upon entering this second adulthood, have found new meaning and new ways to contribute, composing their lives in new patterns.

Among the people Bateson engages in open-ended, in-depth conversations are a retired Maine boatyard worker who has become a silversmith and maker of fine jewelry; an African American woman who explores the importance of grandmothering; two gay men finding contentment in mutual caring; the retired dean of a cathedral in New York City who exemplifies how a multiplicity of interests and connections lead to deeper unity; and Jane Fonda, who shares her ways of dealing with change and spiritual growth.

Here is a book that presents each of us—at any age—with an exhilarating challenge to think about and approach our later lives with the full force of imagination, curiosity, and enthusiasm. At the same time, it speaks to us as members of a larger society concerned about the world that our children and grandchildren, born and not yet born, will inherit. “We live longer,” she says, “but we think shorter.” As adults find themselves entering Adulthood II, making the choices that will affirm and complete the meaning of the lives they have lived, they can play a key role, contributing their perspectives and their experience of adapting to change. In our day, wisdom is no longer associated with withdrawal and passivity but with engagement with others and the contribution that Bateson calls “active wisdom.”

Handbook of the Psychology of Aging, Eighth Edition,

tackles the biological and environmental influences on behavior as well as the reciprocal interface between changes in the brain and behavior during the course of the adult life span.

The psychology of aging is important to many features of daily life, from workplace and the family, to public policy matters. It is complex, and new questions are continually raised about how behavior changes with age.

Providing perspectives on the behavioral science of aging for diverse disciplines, the handbook explains how the role of behavior is organized and how it changes over time. Along with parallel advances in research methodology, it explicates in great detail patterns and sub-patterns of behavior over the lifespan, and how they are affected by biological, health, and social interactions.

New topics to the eighth edition include preclinical neuropathology, audition and language comprehension in adult aging, cognitive interventions and neural processes, social interrelations, age differences in the connection of mood and cognition, cross-cultural issues, financial decision-making and capacity, technology, gaming, social networking, and more.

Tackles the biological and environmental influences on behavior as well as the reciprocal interface between changes in the brain and behavior during the course of the adult life spanCovers the key areas in psychological gerontology research in one volumeExplains how the role of behavior is organized and how it changes over timeCompletely revised from the previous editionNew chapter on gender and aging process
Psychology and Geriatrics demonstrates the value of integrating psychological knowledge and insight with medical training and geriatric care. Leading physician and geropsychologist contributors come together to share their collective wisdom about topics that are as emotionally uncomfortable as they are universally relevant. As the world struggles to respond to unprecedented gains in life expectancy and an explosion of new retirees living with chronic health conditions, this collaboration could not be more timely. This exceptional resource is, itself, evidence that physicians and psychologists can work together to optimize truly patient-centered geriatric care. Here at last is a scientifically rigorous, evidence-based response to the aging mind and body from those most expertly trained.Illustrates why and how psychologists must assume a more integrated role in meeting the health care needs of older patientsConfronts emotionally laden topics such as cognitively impaired driving, caregiver burden, end-of-life communication, suicide, and systemic issues such as bias, payment, and the culture of medicineChallenges decades-long barriers to integration, from both physician and psychologist perspectives, suggesting how they can finally be overcomeProvides an innovative, practical response to academic medicine's growing emphasis on psychological and behavioral scienceDemonstrates how health care reform creates a behavioral health niche that clinical psychologists are uniquely qualified to fill
In his landmark book How We Die, Sherwin B. Nuland profoundly altered our perception of the end of life. Now in The Art of Aging, Dr. Nuland steps back to explore the impact of aging on our minds and bodies, strivings and relationships. Melding a scientist’s passion for truth with a humanist’s understanding of the heart and soul, Nuland has created a wise, frank, and inspiring book about the ultimate stage of life’s journey.

The onset of aging can be so gradual that we are often surprised to find that one day it is fully upon us. The changes to the senses, appearance, reflexes, physical endurance, and sexual appetites are undeniable–and rarely welcome–and yet, as Nuland shows, getting older has its surprising blessings. Age concentrates not only the mind, but the body’s energies, leading many to new sources of creativity, perception, and spiritual intensity. Growing old, Nuland teaches us, is not a disease but an art–and for those who practice it well, it can bring extraordinary rewards.

“I’m taking the journey even while I describe it,” writes Nuland, now in his mid-seventies and a veteran of nearly four decades of medical practice. Drawing on his own life and work, as well as the lives of friends both famous and not, Nuland portrays the astonishing variability of the aging experience. Faith and inner strength, the deepening of personal relationships, the realization that career does not define identity, the acceptance that some goals will remain unaccomplished–these are among the secrets of those who age well.

Will scientists one day fulfill the dream of eternal youth? Nuland examines the latest research into extending life and the scientists who are pursuing it. But ultimately, what compels him most is what happens to the mind and spirit as life reaches its culminating decades. Reflecting the wisdom of a long lifetime, The Art of Aging is a work of luminous insight, unflinching candor, and profound compassion.
Aging, Creativity and Art: A Positive Perspective on Late-Life Development explores the strengths and opportunities of old age as these are manifested by the accomplishments of aging artists, late artistic works, and elderly arts audiences. The book draws on scholarship in the humanities, primarily in art history; examines mainly paintings and painters, both historical and contemporary; reviews empirical research on creativity and cognition, predominantly from psychology and gerontology; and presents the author's original studies, including surveys of art historians, questionnaires completed by aging artists and arts audiences, and experiments involving judgments of art by laypersons. The research presented in Aging, Creativity and Art: A Positive Perspective on Late-Life Development suggests that creativity continues into the later years; higher-order mental abilities related to creativity, like imagination and problem-solving, persist until late in life; and the elderly's physical, sensory, mental, and interpersonal competencies may be enhanced by engagement with the arts. This work interrelates the disciplines of science, the humanities, and the arts to form a synthesis that builds on the strengths of the methods of quantification of science; the emphasis on the individual in the humanities; and the expressive and intuitive modes of communication in the arts. Aging, Creativity and Art: A Positive Perspective on Late-Life Development critically examines the psychology of creativity, cognitive development, and gerontology, and will be of interest to a wide range of professionals and students in these fields.
One of the most respected scientists and futurists in America teams up with an expert on human longevity, to show how we can tap today's revolution in biotechnology and nanotechnology to virtually live forever.

Startling discoveries in the areas of genomics, biotechnology, and nanotechnology are occurring every day. The rewards of this research, some of it as spectacular as what was once thought of as science fiction, are practically in our grasp. Already it is possible to analyze our individual genetic makeups and evaluate our predisposition for breast cancer or other deadly diseases on a case-by-case basis. And once we've isolated these genes, the ability to repress or enhance them through biotechnology is just around the corner. Soon, for example, it will be feasible for 10% of our red blood cells to be replaced by artificial cells, radically extending our life expectancy and enhancing our physical and even mental abilities beyond what is humanly possible today. In Fantastic Voyage, Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman will show us how amazingly advanced we are in our medical technology, and how incredibly far each of us can go toward living as long as we dare imagine.

With today's mind-bending array of scientific knowledge, it is possible to prevent nearly 90% of the maladies that kill us, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, and liver disease. Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman start the reader on a fantastic journey to undreamed-of vitality with a comprehensive investigation into the cutting-edge science on diet, metabolism, genetics, toxins and detoxification, the hormones involved with aging and youth, exercise, stress reduction, and more. By following their program, which includes such simple recommendations as drinking alkaline water and taking specific nutritional supplements to enhance your immune system and slow the aging process on a cellular level, anyone will be able to immediately add years of healthy, active living to his life.
Richard Leider and David Shapiro helped hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people discover the true purpose of their lives with their classic bestseller Repacking Your Bags. Now they focus their attention on the second half of life, showing readers how to claim their rightful place as new elders, men and women who, the authors write, "use the second half of life as an empty canvas, a blank page, a hunk of clay to be crafted on purpose." Claiming Your Place at the Fire uses dozens of inspiring and surprising stories of new elders, as well as thought-provoking exercises like the Fireside Chats that conclude each chapter, to help readers address four key questions: Who am I? How do I stoke the wisdom gained in the first half of my life to burn more brightly in the second half? Where do I belong? What makes a place the right place for me in the second half? What do I care about? Where do I want to use my gifts and talents in the second half? What is my purpose? How do I leave a legacy that has real meaning for myself and my loved ones? What is my purpose? How do I leave a legacy that has real meaning for myself and my loved ones? For the next 12 years, there will be 10,000 people a day in the U.S. alone turning 50. Never before have so many entered into the second half of life so vital, healthy, and free. And never before have so many had such a hunger for direction in how to live this stage of their lives in a purposeful way. Claiming Your Place at the Fire shows how to embrace the lessons that we learn as we age and share these lessons in a manner that is relevant and meaningful to ourselves and the people whose lives we touch.
Current research and theory from a range of disciplines on ageism, discussing issues from elder abuse to age discrimination against workers, revised and updated.

People commonly use age to categorize and stereotype others–even though those who stereotype the elderly are eventually bound to become elderly themselves. Ageism is found cross-culturally, but it is especially prevalent in the United States, where most people regard growing older with depression, fear, and anxiety. Older people in the United States are stigmatized and marginalized, with often devastating consequences. This volume collects the latest theory and research on prejudice against older people, offering perspectives from psychology, nursing, medicine, social work, and other fields. The second edition has been completely updated, with new or extensively revised contributions. The contributors, all experts in their fields, consider issues that range from elder abuse to age discrimination against workers.

There has been a relative dearth of research on ageism, perhaps because age prejudice is still considered socially acceptable. This book is still the only one that examines ageism in such detail, from such diverse scholarly perspectives. The contributors discuss the origins and effects of ageism and offer suggestions for how to reduce ageism as the wave of baby boomers heads for old age.

Contributors
Yoav S. Bergman, Ehud Bodner, Jennifer Barbour, Piers Bayl-Smith, Daphne Blunt Bugental, Maria Clara P. de Paula Couto, Susan T. Fiske, Jeff Greenberg, Barbara Griffin, Jessica A. Hehman, Peter Helm, Sarah H. Kagan, Molly Maxfield, Lynn McDonald, Mary Chase Mize, Joann M. Montepare, Todd D. Nelson, Michael S. North, Amanda Rumsey, Jeff Schimel, Laura Shannonhouse, Dirk Wentura, Susan Krauss Whitbourne

Turn back your biological clock. A breakthrough book for men--as much fun to read as it is persuasive--Younger Next Year draws on the very latest science of aging to show how men 50 or older can become functionally younger every year for the next five to ten years, and continue to live like fifty-year-olds until well into their eighties. To enjoy life and be stronger, healthier, and more alert. To stave off 70% of the normal decay associated with aging (weakness, sore joints, apathy), and to eliminate over 50% of all illness and potential injuries. This is the real thing, a program that will work for anyone who decides to apply himself to "Harry's Rules."

Harry is Henry S. Lodge, M.D., a specialist in internal medicine and preventive healthcare. Chris Crowley is Harry's 70-year-old patient who's stronger today (and skiing better) than when he was 40. Together, in alternating chapters that are lively, sometimes outspoken, and always utterly convincing, they spell out Harry's Rules and the science behind them. The rules are deceptively simple: Exercise Six Days a Week. Eat What You Know You Should. Connect to Other People and Commit to Feeling Passionate About Something. The science, simplified and demystified, ranges from the molecular biology of growth and decay to how our bodies and minds evolved (and why they fare so poorly in our sedentary, all-feast no-famine culture). The result is nothing less than a paradigm shift in our view of aging.

Welcome to the next third of your life--train for it, and you'll have a ball.
Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has since become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. 

In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annex” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.

Praise for The Diary of a Young Girl

“A truly remarkable book.”—The New York Times

“One of the most moving personal documents to come out of World War II.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer

“There may be no better way to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the end of World War II than to reread The Diary of a Young Girl, a testament to an indestructible nobility of spirit in the face of pure evil.”—Chicago Tribune

“The single most compelling personal account of the Holocaust . . . remains astonishing and excruciating.”—The New York Times Book Review

“How brilliantly Anne Frank captures the self-conscious alienation and naïve self-absorption of adolescence.”—Newsday
Over two decades ago, beloved and respected rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi felt an uneasiness. He was growing older, and fears about death and infirmity were haunting him. So he decided to embark on mission to get to the bottom of his fears. Through a series of events that included a vision quest in a secluded cabin and studying with Sufi masters, Buddhist teachers and Native-American shamans, Reb Zalman found a way to turn aging into the most meangful and joyous time in his life.

In this inspiring and informative guide, Reb Zalman shares his wisdom and experience with readers. He shows readers how to create an aging process for themselves that is full of adventure, passion, mystery, and fulfillment, rather than anxiety. Using scientific research--both neurological and psychological-- Reb Zalman offers techniques that will expand horizons beyond the narrow view of "the present" into a grand and enduring eternity. By harnessing the power of the spirit, as well as explaining exactly how to become a sage in their own community, he gives readers a helpful and moving way to use their own experiences to nurture, heal, and perhaps even save a younger generation from the prison of how we typically regard aging.

In this updated version of his popular book, Reb Zalman has added a brand new introductory chapter that provides insight into the shifts that have taken place in our culture since the first edition of this book came out in the 1990s. He speaks about the role the 78 million (now aging) Baby Boomers are currently playing in how we think about aging. Additionally he provides new inspiring ideas about the importance of an elder's role in shaping society, and explains how elders can embrace the power they have to provide value and wisdom to those around them.
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