02/19/2012 2:00 pm
America is rapidly graying, with of people over 80 expected to almost triple by 2030, raising the question of how to live well for that long. MEIKA LOE explores how elders navigate practical challenges of independent living while staying healthy, connected, and comfortable in her new book, AGING OUR WAY: LESSONS FOR LIVING FROM 85 AND BEYOND. Loe draws on the latest interdisciplinary scholarship as well as three years of interviews, to follow the everyday lives of 30 elders from 85 to 102 living at home and mostly alone, to understand how they create and maintain meaningful lives.
In their own voices, elders describe how they manage everything from grocery shopping, doctor appointments, and disabilities, to creating networks of friends and maintaining their autonomy. In many ways, these elders can serve as role models for living in moderation, taking time for themselves, asking for help, keeping a sense of humor, caring for others, and preparing for death. They provide an invaluable source of wisdom for anyone hoping to live a long and fulfilling life, and through their stories, Loe helps us to think about aging, well-being, and the value of human relationships in new ways. Written with remarkable warmth and depth of understanding, Aging Our Way offers a vivid look at a group of people who too often remain invisible and all they have to teach us.
"Loe's writing is clear, jargon-free, and warm - she clearly likes and often admires her subjects. She has done an excellent job in organizing her book topically and lets her subjects speak for themselves, then distills their most important points." Publishers Weekly
“Through engaging interviews, Meika Loe moves away from obsessive focus on youth to an idea of comfortable aging that embraces continuity; connection, creativity, and quality of life.”—Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zone: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest
“…delightfully written…Nearly any reader will find Aging Our Way relevant to their own life or the lives of their aging parents or relatives.” Deborah Carr, Professor of Sociology, Rutgers University
Meika Loe is Associate Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies at Colgate University and the author of The Rise of Viagra: How the Little Blue Pill Changed Sex in America.