"Here you have these wonderful files, and you seem little interested in how we cope with increasing age ... our adaptability, our zest for life," one of these subjects wrote to Vaillant, a researcher, psychiatrist, and Harvard Medical School professor, about how he was using this information. Vaillant took this advice to heart. In Aging Well, he presents personal narratives about people from these studies whom he interviewed personally in their 70s and 80s. He describes their history, relationships, hardships, philosophies, and sources of joy. We learn their perspectives and what makes them want to get up in the morning.
We also learn what makes old age vital and interesting. Vaillant discusses the important adult developmental tasks, such as identity, intimacy, and generativity (giving to the next generation), and provides important clues to a healthy, meaningful, satisfying old age. Health in old age, we learn, is not predicted by low cholesterol or ancestral longevity, but by factors such as a stable marriage, adaptive coping style (the ability to make lemonade out of life's lemons), and regular exercise.
Vaillant is empathetic and sometimes surprisingly poetic: "Owning an old brain, you see, is rather like owning an old car.... Careful driving and maintenance are everything." He freely includes subjective observations and interpretations, giving us a richer picture of the people he interviewed and insights into their lives. Aging Well is recommended for readers who are interested in learning about the quality-of-life issues of aging from the people who have the most to teach. --Joan Price --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is an excellent book. All who plan on living well and long should read this no later than their 40th birthday.Published 1 month ago by Randy Travis
One of the best books I've read on the topic. This is a research based book, not a treatise of opinions. Read morePublished 1 month ago by David L. Neidert
I have read this book fully twice in the past decade. It is both the most solidly based research on what makes for a happy old age, and one of the most humane and thoughtful... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Richard Barbieri
This book as been out a long time. I was looking for something more contemporary. I'm an "aging warrior" a life long athlete, and I haven't really found anything that... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Eric Leberg
I think this is an outstanding book, and would like to briefly respond to several of the critical reviews.
1. Read more
I had to read this book for a 400 level nursing class and it is garbage. The author states several times in the book that he is a Democrat, belief in religion is evidence of... Read morePublished 5 months ago by muRN
At first I found the book a bit tedious and so much was about quite exceptional people (super high IQ) that made me concerned how much could be generalized from this. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Bali Dave
The areas that were the "intellectual set up for the "Aging Well" documentation were the deeper and least entertaining of this book but quite necessary for providing... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Roger Winn