Have you ever picked up a book with the goal of self development? Perhaps it’s something you’ve never done or maybe it’s a resource you’ve used many times over the years. The autumn years of our lives are not always easy, but whilst we are certain to face our own personal physical or mental challenges at times; these needn’t define or dominate our lives.
With a little inspiration we can opt to actively draw on our wealth of experiences, finding satisfaction in our ability to adapt and recognising the light and comedy in life’s evolution! There is great confidence to be found in the way we know ourselves in later life and this spark can be drawn upon to make every moment count.
With this in mind we have selected seven of our favourite aging related reads. It is great to be reminded of the wealth of marvellous role models leading the way – in actively demonstrating the positive sides to ageing.
1. The End Of Old Age by Marc E Agronin
Dr. Marc Agronin, one of America’s leading geriatric psychiatrists, shares his insights as to what creates happiness in later life and shares the stories of many of his patients who have embraced ageing as an opportunity for reinvention and growth. Without rose-tinting the challenges that come with age, Agronin offers an action plan for his readers, filled with hope and fresh perspective.
2. Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon by Iris Apfel
As living royalty in the realms of fashion, textiles and interior design, Iris Apfel has led an extraordinary life throughout, but her elevation to icon status or to becoming a (self titled) “geriatric starlet” came about only in her later years. Her unapologetic self expression, seemingly limitless passion and joie de vivre captured the hearts and minds of the world. At the age of 97 Iris is about as inspiring as an elder can be, with social media followers in the millions. Accidental Icon brings us a joyous insight into her style, wit, and wisdom in a beautifully compiled book of photographs, illustrations, anecdotes and musings. Iris Apfel shows us how to age in true style as our most authentic selves, and is certainly not an idol to be missed!
3. The Force Of Character And The Lasting Life by James Hillman
Hillman brings us a thought provoking and melodic exploration of the stages of ageing. He examines the wandering, reflective older mind and calls on the reader to cultivate a unique awareness of their spiritual and emotional self. The Force Of Character explores the hidden values to be found within the physical and mental challenges of later life and bestows wise directions for preparing the legacy we wish to leave behind.
4. The Little Old Lady Who Broke The Rules by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg
While real-world inspiration is of fantastic value, sometimes it is our imaginations that need to be fed! This sassy novel from bestselling author Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg delivers a rebellious, spirited ride as a group of delinquent seniors, (a.k.a. The League of Pensioners), leave their residential care home to undertake an escalating and chaotic crime spree in the name of reclaiming their independence. Dubbed heart warming and hysterical, this story is bound to lift your spirits and light a spark in your soul!
5. Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old by John Leland
Award-winning journalist John Leland undertook a mission for The New York Times to get to know some of the oldest inhabitants of New York. While he expected to find the bleak clichés of ageing such as loneliness and decline he in fact found wisdom, contentment and humour, despite challenge. Leland reflects on the lessons our elders (or “olders” as he calls them) could teach us if we took the time to pay attention and his book is packed full of great messages for any generation of reader.
6. Empowered Aging: Expert Advice on Staying Healthy, Vital and Active by Sharkie Zartman
Wellness expert Sharkie Zartman aims to give her readers a new lease on life not only with a fresh perspective but through active self-care, better understanding of modern healthcare and the benefit of lifestyle improvements. She consulted with thirteen renowned experts to create this guide to living with maximum gusto and vibrancy into our later years.
7. The Creative Age: Awakening Human Potential In The Second Half Of Life by Gene D. Cohen
Dr. Cohen stakes a firm claim on the concept of “golden years” by teaching us how to minimise challenges associated with ageing, such as sleep disturbance, memory issues, cognitive decline and weakening of the immune system. He focuses on our great potential for creativity and inner growth as we age, and the raft of benefits that appear as a side product of actively striving to get the most out of our later lives.