Elderhood

PUBLISHED 2019

“I hope everyone who has a stake in older people, which is ultimately all of us, will read this book.”

— Mary Pipher, author of Women Rowing North

For more than 5,000 years, “old” has been defined as beginning between the ages of 60 and 70. Now that humans are living longer than ever before, many people alive today will be elders for 30 years or more. Yet at the very moment that most of us will spend more years in elderhood than in childhood, we’ve made old age into a disease, a condition to be dreaded, disparaged, neglected, and denied.

Noted Harvard-trained geriatrician Louise Aronson uses stories from her quarter century of caring for patients and draws from history, science, literature, popular culture, and her own life to weave a vision of old age that’s neither nightmare nor utopian fantasy—a vision full of joy, wonder, frustration, outrage, and hope about aging, medicine, and life itself.

The story of aging is the story of what it means to be human. It’s both a timeless tale and one that’s rapidly changing with advances in science, technology, and society. Aronson tackles this epic topic with the precision of a scientist, the compassion of a clinician, and the eloquence of a literary writer.

Elderhood will transform how readers think and feel about aging. This intensely compassionate book reframes “life’s third act” in ways both revolutionary and revelatory.

I loved reading this book and recommend it to all health professionals, policy makers, service providers, and researchers involved in the aging enterprise; anyone who has an aging relative; and all of us who are growing older every day. The book is beautifully written and inspirational.

Health Affairs

Louise Aronson pushes us to think differently ... I found this book provocative in the best sense of the word. It has stayed with me and pulled me back into multiple readings... There’s not much more I could ask of a book.

The Christian Century

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