Getting Older Better
Library Journal, written by Olga Wise, May 2014
Blair (American Inst. Of Holistic Theology), an experienced life coach and holistic psychotherapist, sets out to help senior women solve the many challenges of aging. Each topic (e.g., “Continued Learning,” “Caregiving Grandchildren,” “Traveling Adventures”) contains a relevant quote and long paragraph outlining the issue. Chapters end with a challenge to the reader—a tough question such as: What would I like to study? How do I deal with my adult children? Where shall I travel? Blair emphasizes looking to oneself rather than to the outside world for solutions. There are many approaches to the topic, and each will be fruitful for the inquiring reader. Barbara M. Fleisher and Thelma Reese’s The New Senior Woman covers much of the same ground, but from the perspective of a social worker rather than a psychotherapist. VERDICT: Many seniors will find the wide selection of topics and related advice in this title helpful. Even men can learn from Blair’s volume.
A Road Map on Aging for Baby Boomer Women
Review by Sarah Lemnah, Director of Communications & Development, CVAA
Ever wish you had a road map on aging? Do you feel like you are the only one going through changes and questioning things you once did with confidence? Everyone feels that way as we face the unknown of aging. For women, aging brings some special concerns as society often bases value on the youth and appearance of women more than their substance and intelligence.
Local Vermont author Pamela Blair, PhD. tries to de-myth the aging process for women in her latest book "Getting Older Better: The Best Advise Ever on Money, Health, Creativity, Sex, Work, Retirement, and More." This book is a quick read divided into short segments on every topic you can imagine regarding aging, especially for Baby Boomer women. This book is designed so you can easily check out topics that you can relate to and easily skip over segments that don't currently apply to you.
People are living longer than ever so what are we going to do with the second half of our life? For Blair, this book was cathartic. "Anything I was scared of, I researched. This is the first generation that will have bonus years. What are we going to do with them?" For Blair, the journey started after having a traumatic brain injury that forced her to slow down and evaluate her life. "My world became smaller but more beautiful. I had to pace my life differently. I took time to listen to the birds. I lived in the present." Blair honestly and openly writes about this experience in her book as she writes about needing to ask for help. "I needed the help of friends and family and, for the first time in my life, I had to ask for help. Many of us have been taught that we shouldn't admit to our pain and suffering, so we bear them in silence." However Blair came to find out that the people in her world felt good about helping her and it brought them closer together.
For women, aging brings questions of self- worth. "As long as you are pretty, we will notice you and you will be valuable. The scariest part of aging for many women is that they have to rely more on who they are rather than on what they look like for respect or attention. They feel invisible."
Aging well is about attitude. If your attitude about aging is poor, it can affect your health and cause depression which is not a normal part of aging." Blair writes that if you focus on and build on the strengths you do have, your emotional life will be less affected and aging will become more satisfying. Accepting that life is about change and enjoying the moments of every day will bring a more satisfying quality of life for people as they age. It is not about what you can no longer do, but about what you can do, what brings you pleasure now, and being a less hard critic on yourself.
Aging is a adventure into the unknown and each person's path is unique just like each individual.
This book was written with women, especially aging Baby Boomers, in mind to give them some role models of proud women who have lived long and full lives. However it can easily be a guide for anyone facing their fears, curious about the future, and feeling isolated or alone. Each story is unique but everyone has experienced pain, confusion, embarrassment, and joy. Hopefully, joy is the one you focus on and let the rest just be part of a long and varied story.