Our team has read a lot of books about aging, from our academic studies to keeping up with current information and research. We also like to explore fun books about aging and perspectives from the more philosophical side. Below, we share what we think are some of the best books about aging. They come at aging from different angles and genres. Of course, you’ll find a healthy dose of advice for family caregivers and tips that are important to anyone working with or caring for elders.
We don’t get much into the longevity genre here, but there are books like The Longevity Book, The Longevity Paradox and Aging in Reverse that you can check out. The Longevity Book by Cameron Diaz, in particular, offers an understanding of the aging process while not at all “anti-aging”. The actress brings her personality and perspective to the book with a, perhaps surprisingly, scientific approach (but one all of us can understand).
For a really solid perspective on this topic, we also highly recommend going straight to the source. The blue zones are areas with the world's longest-lived cultures. Along with a wealth of information on their website, you can find a list of their longevity books. We highly recommend these as they use data from these cultures to share lessons not only around how to live a longer life, but a happier, healthier life.
Books about Aging: For Caregivers
As we grow older, we will inevitably be caregivers, possibly many times over. These are some of our favorite books for caregivers.
Psychologist and bestselling writer Mary Pipher maps out strategies that help bridge the gaps that separate us from our elders. She shares examples, with an attitude of respect and realism, so that you walk away with a new understanding of how we often miss each other’s perspective and what you can do about it.
How to Say it to Seniors by David Solie
Behind this simplistic title, there’s a wealth of knowledge. We have read and reread this book and often recommend it. It grounds us in an understanding of our elders’ developmental agenda and how that impacts communication and creates gaps if we do not base what we do and say in that understanding. Most importantly, the author offers “easy-to-learn skills that enhance communication between the generations”. If you’re finding yourself frustrated communicating with your elders, you must read this.
The 36-Hour Day by Nancy Mace and Peter Rabins
The definitive book for Alzheimer’s/dementia caregivers, this book is now in its fifth edition. However, the central idea remains the same...that a lot can be done for people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, to make life better.
Our experts have also created a comprehensive dementia care guide. It addresses some of the key care and behavioral challenges you might face with practical tips to overcome them from our caregivers.
AARP Meditations for Caregivers by Barry J. Jacobs & Julia L. Mayer
This book organizes its chapters around themes common to caregivers and offers meditations, anecdotes, and practical advice for coping.
The AARP has several other books and resources on their website for caregivers also.
Although not a book about aging, caregivers can find several books’ worth of information on our EasyLiving blog. We’ve covered everything from dealing with negative parents to senior driving issues, and every practical and emotional issue in between. You can use the search function or browse topics by category.
Best Books about Aging: Memoirs, Novels and More
A local favorite, this memoir is set at Canterbury Towers in Tampa. The subtitle, “Tales of the New Old Age in America”, sums up this entertaining and insightful account of the last years of the Greatest Generation.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: A Novel (originally titled These Foolish Things) by Deborah Moggach
You may have seen the movie, but the book is even clearer in its purpose. The book uncovers the problems with our care systems and modern societal structures, for the elderly. It is hopeful and touching, but also contains a serious message for those struggling to cope with care in the community.
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
An extraordinary book about aging and death in the 21st century by surgeon Atul Gawande. Modern medicine has brought us many advancements, but when it comes to the inescapable realities of aging and death, what medicine can do often runs counter to what it should. The book shows how the ultimate goal is not a good death but a good life, to its end.
We love this title, especially since it is part of our tagline and the name of our original care management company. Each story in this book provides a unique perspective on the physical, emotional, and social aspects of growing old from a diverse group of elders.
What is your favorite book about aging or caregiving? Come over to our Facebook Community and share yours.