Guides for the Golden Years

Janet Clapp

Time marches on. One morning you’re a sprightly youth with no cares in the world, and then before you know it, you’re a gray-haired senior citizen facing complicated choices and deteriorating health. Aging is part of life, and for those who want to know how to manage or understand it, there are plenty of books on the subject. From coping with changes to financial planning to preparing for your demise, here are a few titles to peruse about an inevitable stage of life.

AgeProof: Living Longer Without Running Out of Money or Breaking a Hip

by Jean Chatzky and Michael F. Roizen, MD

“As you accelerate through life, the day-to-day drudgery often means you put off taking care of or ignore the two most important things you need to pay attention to for a long and vibrant life — your body and your bank account.” A doctor and financial journalist produced this book about taking care of health and wealth as you age. Related bad habits, such as overeating and overspending, can affect both aspects of life. Some strategies, such as automating behavior, can be used to do well fiscally and physically. “We hope that you come away with three things that can change your life for the better: one, specific strategies for how to improve your money situation and your body; two, an understanding of the unique relationship between health and wealth; and three, a way to measure, monitor, and be aware of your progress.”

Downsizing the Family Home: What to Save, What to Let Go

by Marni Jameson

“The family home is loaded in every sense. It’s loaded not only with belongings but also with memories…Sorting through it all is emotionally, mentally, and physically overwhelming. But if it is done right, I’ve learned, it can be tremendously rewarding.” When columnist Marni Jameson had to help her parents downsize, she researched and wrote about what she learned. The result is this guide for how to sort through a lifetime of stuff and determine what to do with it all. Jameson concludes, “A lifetime habit of judicious editing is a gift you give yourself and your children. Living well no matter what your stage in life means letting go as you grow, shedding your old self to make room for the person you’re becoming.”

Rest in Peace: A Planning Guide for the Inevitable

by Charles Walts and Tommye White

“Rest in Peace is a pre-death planning guide. It is a manual written to help you plan and prepare for the end of your life or the death of someone for whom you may need to attend to their end-of-life affairs.” This short book focuses on practical preparation for death, and offers help for the person who is left behind to handle matters. Checklists and sample forms make it useful to the reader. “Regardless of your age, this planning guide is written to help you plan and prepare for your eventual demise.”

2 Weeks to a Younger Brain

by Gary Small, MD and Gigi Vorgan

“In ‘2 Weeks to a Younger Brain,’ the latest brain science is translated into practical strategies and exercises that yield quick and long-lasting benefits.” Small, director of the UCLA Longevity Center, and Vorgan, a writer, present useful information on how the brain works and what benefits it. For example, a short conversation can be good for your mind. Brain games, healthy foods, memory methods, and fun exercises are outlined, and a 2-week program is provided. “Your daily decisions on whether to exercise your mind and body, what you eat and how you cope with stress have a direct effect on your brain age.”

Enlightened Aging: Building Resilience for a Long, Active Life

by Eric B. Larson, MD, and Joan De Claire

“And if my work as a scientist and physician has revealed one quality that’s consistent among those who age well and happily, I believe it’s this: resilience — the capacity to adapt and grow stronger in the face of adversity or stress.” Doctor and researcher Larson and journalist DeClaire recount what scientific studies demonstrate about aging, and share many individual stories of people who age admirably. “It may help to think of yourself as an athlete getting ready for a marathon. Instead of a morning race, however, you’re preparing for decades of senior living…The more reserves you have going into old age, the more resilient you’ll be when facing late-life challenges.”

The Rutland Free Library has the books above and many others about aging.

Happy reading!

Janet Clapp

Janet Clapp is an adult services librarian at Rutland Free Library.

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