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Aging Our Way: Lessons for Living from 85 and Beyond 1st Edition

6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0199797905
ISBN-10: 0199797900
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Editorial Reviews Review

Amazon Exclusive: An Excerpt from Aging Our Way: Lessons for Living from 85 and Beyond

Ann Donohue with author Meika Loe

Dear Reader,

I remember reading an autobiography of Eva Le Gallienne, the actress. It was called "At Thirty-Three." It started with her early years. I shall do the reverse, though I'll take a little poetic license with the title. I never expected to live this long, but I seem to be in good running condition, thanks to the six bottles of pills on my dresser and the six doctors I see: dentist, periodontist, gynecologist, dermatologist, ear doctor, and podiatrist. I go to hydroslimnastics exercises at an indoor pool twice a week, and go swimming in Lake George daily in the summer and on Memorial Day for bragging rights.

I have three sons and a daughter who take wonderful care of me: a son who calls me every evening from a suburb of Washington, D.C., a son who comes to dinner two nights a week and takes me to Lake George every Sunday; a daughter who takes full charge of weekly shopping trips, keeps my wardrobe up to date, and helps me with my income taxes; and a son in Alaska who comes down every year and calls frequently to update me on the news.

Although I can no longer drive my car, I avail myself of Senior Transportation, which drives me to doctors appointments, and friends who drive me to volunteer activities, and friends who pick me up when they see me walking to the four corners. I walk about a mile a day for the fresh air and the physical exercise.

Much to my surprise I find the nineties very pleasant.


Ann Donohue (age ninety-four)
January 2010


"Americans are living longer lives today than ever before. But are these quality years? How are we experiencing 'these additional years' in our 80s, 90s, and even 100s? In Meika Loe's Aging Our Way, men and women tell how they are making the best of their time, even with personal limitations. These 'ways of aging' are summed up as lessons for reflection and action. I urge you to read and share this inspiring book with others for it enriches understanding of life paths that many will follow." --Glen H. Elder, Jr., Howard W. Odum Distinguished Research Professor of Sociology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"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. While there are few startling revelations, there is a great deal of wisdom." --Publisher's Weekly

"Useful for its thoroughness, examples of resiliency, and attention to this growing phenomenon." --CHOICE

"A lively, engaging, and moving read. Loe shows how the personal resources needed to cope with aging are closely tied to structural factors like race, class, gender, birth cohort, and socioeconomic status. 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

"In this delightfully written book, Meika Loe illustrates how we continue to develop and become more diverse as we age. Aging Our Way is an engagingly written introduction to this new understanding of aging and will serve its readers well." --Peter V. Rabins, MD, MPH, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, co-author of The 36-Hour Day

"What a timely and useful handbook for all ages-full of insights and often poignant. L'chayim!" --Dr. Sally H. Lunt, Advisory Board, and Judy Norsigian, Executive Director, Our Bodies Ourselves

"Aging Our Way is a remarkable glimpse of the everyday lives and life lessons of elders living on their own-and on their own terms. Through engaging interviews, Meika Loe moves away from an 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

"Aging Our Way is Loe's well-crafted answer to the question many ask as they approach the end of their days, 'How can one maintain comfort and health, stay at home, and continue to lead a meaningful life?'" --Foreword

"Loe's work will prove beneficial for qualitative sociologists, gerontologists, and ethnographers. The prose is accessible, the stories are rich, and the suggestive findings are pragmatic. Aging Our Way is a must-read for all sociologists of aging, perhaps especially so for ethnographers of aging." --Scott Patrick Murphy, Postdoctoral Scholar in the Alliance for Applied Research in Education and Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology at the University of South Florida

"The references and data provided include some of the most highly regarded sources and provide a wealth of information. Written in an engaging style, Loe sheds light on the realities about the well-being of those who are 85+ and illustrates resilience, creativity, adaptation and strength among a group of people often thought of as otherwise... This book is written in a passionate way that is easily accessible and appropriate for a wide range of readers, including students, practitioners, older adults, and their family members."-- Donna Wang, Department of Social Work, Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus

"...unique in its content and approach... a timely, important and enjoyable addition to the literature of this increasingly important social issue." --Metapsychology Online Reviews

"Aging Our Way is a welcome addition to aging scholarship on the importance of social networks, continuity over the life course, self-reliance, dignity, and autonomy for well-being and comfortable aging." --Gender and Society


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (October 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199797900
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199797905
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.2 x 6.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,416,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rachel G on November 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Meika Loe's book "Aging Our Way: Lessons for Living from 85 and Beyond" is a poignant analysis of how aging in place can be enriching, empowering, and fun all at the same time. You certainly do not have to be in academia to appreciate this book! As discussed from the perspective of many of the elder's that make up this book, aging is something that everyone must go through despite social location, economic class, gender, race, etc. Everyone knows a family member, friend, or acquaintance who has grappled with the decision of whether or not to age in place and this book offers thirteen lessons learned from elder's that show independence, resilience, and strength while they think about their next steps. I highly recommend this book for all ages and I feel encouraged to practice many of the life lessons that the elders have taught me!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marvin L. Mcconoughey on November 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Meika Loe combines scholarship and empathy in this readable book about aging. I gained insights into how others exert management of their aging in very diverse health and economic circumstances. A key message is that there is no one "right" way to handle old age. There are many successful approaches, and the elderly exert considerable power over the details of their daily life. The author is kind, and that shines through her writing. This was the most useful of several books I've read on aging.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Delpinneaple on November 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is really beautifully written. The author does a fine job of putting the interviews she did with these "elders" into a larger perspective. She connects their stories to the communities they live in, but also makes connections to the larger world. She made me think about our society, and how it is functioning -- especially for the very old. I knew the U.S. was aging rapidly before I read Aging Our Way, but I have a much better sense now of how huge and important a shift this is, and will be, for all of us. I think it's remarkable how Loe gets her subjects talking so honestly and openly about their lives. Their stories really carry the reader along. She does a good job of letting the elders tell their stories, but weaves each experience into the greater whole. I read this book and had it out on the coffee table when my 83 year old mother-in-law picked it up and started reading it. Now she wants to borrow my copy!
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