Ageing Disgracefully, with Grace: Enjoying Growing Older

Michael John Lowis
Chartered Psychologist, Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, Honorary Academic Writer University of the Highlands and Islands, Scotland

Series: Psychology Research Progress
BISAC: PSY043000

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Special issue: Resilience in breaking the cycle of children’s environmental health disparities
Edited by I Leslie Rubin, Robert J Geller, Abby Mutic, Benjamin A Gitterman, Nathan Mutic, Wayne Garfinkel, Claire D Coles, Kurt Martinuzzi, and Joav Merrick

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A doctor was once heard to say that it is a pity we know our own age; otherwise, we could just say that we are as old as we feel. The populations of most countries are ageing, and because of this we can anticipate many years of retirement. We need to make the most of this opportunity, but we are faced with exhortations such as “act your age.” Does this mean that older people should not have fun anymore, but should instead conform to conventional stereotypes such as being unproductive, conventional, inflexible, serene, and no longer interested in intimacy? In other words, should people have to grow old gracefully? The answer is no. Instead, we should enjoy ageing while still having fun and living life to the fullest.

The author, Dr. Mike Lowis, is a psychologist and theologian who has numerous academic publications to his name, including over sixty articles in peer-reviewed journals, two books and two book chapters. His vast research experience, plus being himself in the ‘third age’ of life, adequately qualifies him to write on the topic of making the most of the retirement years. He delights in debunking the myths and stereotypes of ageing, and gives many examples of individuals who have achieved great things in later life. The book includes details on several ways that can help older people to cope with life, including making full use of both music and humour. It also reviews biblical texts that refer to the virtues of, and the respect for, older people.

This book is written in an accessible style that should also appeal to the interested general reader. The book also includes some simple self-test exercises that readers are invited to complete, the results of which should help those interested to gauge their own levels of progress toward life satisfaction. (Imprint: Nova)

Foreword

Preface

Acknowledgements

Chapter 1. How Old Are You?

Chapter 2. There Is No Such Age as ‘Old’

Chapter 3. Myths, Stereotypes, Images, and Gains

Chapter 4. Life Satisfaction

Chapter 5. Faith in the Third Age

Chapter 6. Ageing in the Old Testament

Chapter 7. Ageing in the New Testament

Chapter 8. Humour . . . One of the Greatest Coping Methods

Chapter 9. The Positive Effects of Music

Chapter 10. Conclusions: Is There a Happiness Formula?

References

Index

Click here to read the book review by - Rev. K. Graham Hawley, Board Member, Christian Council on Ageing, UK

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This book will be of particular interest to those who work in the health, counseling, and caring professions, and to the students plus the academics who teach them. Professionals or lay workers specializing in geriatrics, including social workers, sociologists, and psychologists, should find the text helpful. Because of its biblical content, theological and seminary students would find this a useful resource. Finally, the book should be appreciated by those who are themselves middle-aged and older, and who would like to make the most of later life.

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