The Joy of Aging by Prof PV Ramamurti. Published by the Dept of Psychology, SV University, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh India. 2009

This necessary addition to the sector of Psycho-social Gerontology was released in December 2008. Allow us to take a fast pre-view on its contents:

The primary chapter sets the scenario, by ending the chapter with the central teaching of the whole book: “Practicing positive pondering and making it an all time habit is the important thing to maintain mental and physical health.” Chapter two gives statistics about older individuals in India and the world. Next chapter deals with changes within the body functions as we age. All systems – Cardiovascular, respiratory, muscular-skeletal, digestive, excretory, reproductive, sense organs (like skin, eyes, ears, taste, smell) are covered. Chapter 4 deals with aspects resulting in good health like hygiene, surroundings, ventilation amongst others. Many hints are provided for weight loss plan in old age in the following chapter. “Keeping fit” talks of Yoga Exercises and what not? Chapter 7 describes living arrangements for the elderly, similar to, living with the family, living in old age homes, availing oneself of paid care services or day care services. Criteria for selecting various forms of stay are explained. One other necessary aspect, Money, is discussed in chapter 8. Here, savings, pension, income generation activities and value of maintaining health are taken up.

Managing Leisure, managing disabilities of old age and developing an interest in spirituality are explained in subsequent chapters. A self assessment Scale for assessing physical disability in Chapter 11 could be very useful. It is easy and straightforward to make use of. Excellent suggestions are offered for maintaining interpersonal relations: this chapter especially addresses weaknesses of older individuals and shows the way to tackle ageism issues. Crucial chapter, chap 13, “constructing a blissful mindset, explains Trigunas of thought and the way to make Satvik sort of pondering a everlasting lifestyle. Care and welfare of older individuals comes next. Rights and responsibilities of senior residents, National policy directives are listed. The last chapter Epilogue re-emphasizes how developing a everlasting positive mindset is completely essential to enjoy old age.

As a kind of lagniappe creator adds a series of 5 Top ten listings:

o Top ten Commandments for Completely satisfied Aging
o Ten Suggestions for higher health in old age
o Desirable food habits in Old age
o Suggestions to stop falls in Old age
o How the Elderly could be asset to the family

I like this book because

o The chapters are short and the treatment is easy and lucid
o It’s possible you’ll pick up any chapter and begin reading without losing connectivity
o Cartoons by Lova Raju, sprinkled throughout the book, provoke a smile – something the creator wants you to do ever so often
o It offers sane sensible clear-cut information / suggestions/ advice on several elements of ageing and shows the approach to age happily
o It renders itself easy for light reading on a serious subject
o It comes from the pen of Prof PV Ramamurti, an erudite scholar on Indian Gerontology

Get the book, read for yourself and you may not be dissatisfied.

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