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Aging Wisely: Facing Emotional Challenges from 50 to 85+ Years
In Aging Wisely: Facing Emotional Challenges from 50 to 85+ Years, retired clinical psychologist Viola Mecke shares not only what she’s learned from 40 years as a teacher and practitioner, but as someone who’s actually lived the subject of her book. An 85-year-old widow and cancer survivor who is still discovering herself, her goal, she says, is “to bring about better resolutions of problems and help us all to age more wisely.”
The author has done a commendable job of weaving personal experiences—hers and others’—into a slim guidebook that lets aging readers know what to expect. Dividing the aging years into four parts—The Initiation (ages 50-65), Retirement (65-75), The Age of Compassion (75-85) and The Curtain Call (85 and up)—Mecke explores the physical, mental and social changes that are likely to take place as we get older. In the second part of Aging Wisely, she delves into the emotions we often face and offers tips for being more resilient, dispelling loneliness, and dealing with other issues.
Mecke reminds us that we have choices; we can adapt, like the pragmatic 65-year-old woman who says, “I’ll take whatever comes” or give up, like the proud man in the retirement home who refuses to accept his friends’ care and ends up dying alone. And although it doesn’t downplay or dismiss the realities of illness, depression and loneliness, Aging Wisely stresses the importance of a positive attitude.

Throughout this informative book, Mecke manages to avoid the overly technical style some psychologists adopt when sharing their life’s work. Geared to a broad range of readers, from young caregivers to new retirees to 90-year-olds struggling with advanced health problems, Aging Wisely is liberating in its gentle but pervasive message that we should make the most of our lives, no matter what age.

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

Written by an octogenarian who is aging wisely, this book is a compelling read. It helps us understand the many challenges and opportunities of aging – and it deepens the reader’s appreciation for the positive growth and contentment that can occur for those who "age wisely." It is a wonderful and rich compendium of knowledge and personal reflection."

Mary Ann Norfleet, PhD ABPP
Adjunct Clinical Professor
Stanford University School of Medicine

Aging Wisely is absolutely riveting and enlightening. It is a refreshing work. I saw myself throughout each chapter. The author is very eloquent and the examples ring true."

Maxine Underwood, RN, BSN, MN  

...a valuable book, a tool for people who want to educate themselves on the aging process. She has drawn on her professional and personal experiences. Being in my sixties and caring for a mother who is ninety-one, this book has been an incredible resource to help me understand the different stages of aging."

Anita Mills  

This is a very thought provoking book. I wish I had had it to read before I had already stumbled through a couple of stages by myself. It certainly has some good thoughts to help a person survive. But the thing that most of us are trying to avoid is the fact that we can't stop the process of having to get old. I just thought it would never happen to me. Only other people got old and your children say they will be there for you but most of the time they are so busy with their lives that they just don't have the time or space to help.

Karen S. Randall

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