As I’m fast approaching 60 myself, I was eager to check out Doug Wilson’s book, Aging for Beginners – getting older in today’s world – what it means for you.
Aimed at those aged 60 and above as well as those who have every intention of living to that age and older, the book is a sort of workshop manual for keeping things ticking along in good order. The difference is, it’s your body the information is about, not that of your car.
Wilson’s parents both lived until their late 90s, so he’s possibly got a head start as far as good genes go, but his advice will help everyone to make the best of however many years they have got left.
Some parts of the book are a tad depressing. Let’s face it, we all know things slow down or start to wear out as we age, and some things that will happen are unavoidable. But forewarned is forearmed and Wilson doesn’t pull any punches when discussing the things that will or may happen as we age, and what we can do to slow them down or make them more bearable.
All the bad stuff is in the health and aging section, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity, arthritis, etc, but knowing what can happen means you won’t get any nasty surprises as 60 is left behind in the rear view mirror.
Not surprisingly, Wilson says exercise and a good diet are important, and stress isn’t ignored either, as he’s well versed in the effects stress can have even on healthy people.
There’s a section on adjusting to life for the over 65s as retirement can mean huge upheaval for many. The tough stuff isn’t forgotten either, with mentions of separation, divorce, elder abuse, and the dying phase.
The final section of the book is entitled ‘The Plan’ and in it there is advice on the things you need to be doing early if you want to live a long and healthy life – bearing in mind all the things you can’t change about your life.
The book isn’t intended to be a bible on getting old, but it’s a good launching pad for seeking more information and putting some of those good ideas (like exercise and a healthy diet) into action.
Reviewed by Faye Lougher
Aging for Beginners
by Doug Wilson
Published by Imagination Press