Ten Steps of Positive Ageing
5 August 2020 | Living Well
” There is nothing older than not wanting to grow old. Our world presents us with a disastrous image of old age. We are afraid of dying badly, of ending our lives alone, unloved, perhaps dependent or suffering from dementia. Instead of confronting this fear, we ward it off by clinging to our youth, in a rather pathetic state of denial. In so doing we run the risk of missing out on what I call” the work of growing old”- that is to say cultivating a positive awareness of ageing.”
These are the first words in Guy Robertson’s book, Ten Steps of Positive Ageing. He’s quoted from the work of Marie de Hennezel, a French psychologist and palliative care expert.
” Ageing is inevitable but getting old is optional” is the tag line of Robertson’s book. Published this year, 2020, his book explores personal change in later life. I’m usually suspicious of STEPS books… whether it’s ten steps or sixteen. They often become a reductionist approach to complex issues and ageing is very complex, personal and culture bound. The Balinese, Aboriginal or Tibetan peoples have very different perspectives on ageing than we do in the West. I’m also a hardened cynic when it comes to the ” think positive” movement. when your partner dies positive thinking won’t hack it! But I’m curious, so when my little parcel of books arrives after some late-night online shopping, I’m interested to see what this book contributes to our understanding of ageing.