In today’s changing world, the concepts of ageing and ageism have undergone profound transformations. People are living longer, healthier lives, challenging age-old stereotypes and redefining what it means to grow older. With this shift comes a pressing need to address the issue of ageing holistically, embracing not just the physical aspects but also the psychological, social, and cultural dimensions of this universal human experience.
In this review, we turn our attention to SuperAging: Getting Older Without Getting Old, a remarkable literary work authored by David Cravit and Larry Wolf. This book is a trailblazing exploration of the profound shifts in the landscape of ageing, celebrating extraordinary individuals who have shattered traditional notions of decline and limitation by achieving remarkable feats well into their later years.
About the authors
David Cravit is an established expert in reporting on ageing and related topics.
He holds the position of Vice President at ZoomerMedia, Canada’s primary media company catering to the older demographic, and serves as the Chief Membership Officer and Chief Marketing Officer of CARP, Canada’s counterpart to AARP. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing valuable insights into the emerging trends shaping SuperAging.
Larry Wolf excels in spotting trends and capitalising on them.
He has advised Fortune 500 companies and governments on branding and communication strategies. Larry transformed the Wolf Group, initially a two-person consultancy, into a large international advertising agency with offices in seven U.S. and Canadian cities. His company played a vital role in launching numerous successful brands. Recently, Larry recognised trends arising from longer lifespans and seized the chance to unify and brand the crucial factors contributing to success.
What is the book about?
SuperAging: Getting Older Without Getting Old by David Cravit and Larry Wolf is a groundbreaking exploration of the remarkable shifts in ageing and how people are redefining what it means to grow older in today’s world. The book begins by highlighting extraordinary individuals like Julia ‘Hurricane’ Hawkins and Sir Tom Moore, who achieved remarkable feats well into their 90s and 100s, challenging conventional notions of ageing.
The central theme of the book is the concept of SuperAging, which represents a radical departure from traditional ideas of ageing. In contrast to the old paradigm of DefaultAging, where ageing is viewed as a period of decline, SuperAging introduces a dynamic, positive phase of life filled with growth, development, and new possibilities.
The book identifies seven key pillars, known as the ‘7 A’s of SuperAging,’ which collectively empower individuals to embrace SuperAging. These pillars include:
1. Attitude: A positive outlook that envisions an exciting future filled with possibilities.
2. Awareness: The ability to actively seek and consume information across various topics relevant to ageing.
3. Activity: Expanding the scope of physical and mental activity, encompassing learning new skills and approaches to health.
4. Accomplishment: Rejecting the traditional concept of retirement and continuing to achieve goals and pursue personal development.
5. Autonomy: Maintaining independence and control over one’s living situation and finances.
6. Attachment: Expanding social connections and relationships, leveraging technology to combat isolation.
7. Avoidance: Identifying and challenging negative forces, such as ageism and scams targeting older individuals.
Through these pillars, SuperAging: Getting Older Without Getting Old encourages readers to transition from a mindset focused on managing decline to one that emphasises personal growth, purpose, and seizing the opportunities that come with longer lifespans. The book provides practical guidance and strategies for each of these areas, offering a roadmap for readers to embark on their own SuperAging journey.
Table of contents
- 1. The 7A’s of SuperAging
- 2. Attitude
- 3. Awareness
- 4. Activity
- 5. Accomplishment
- 6. Autonomy
- 7. Attachment
- 8. Avoidance
- 9. You’re a SuperAger Now!
- About the Authors
Three key takeaways from SuperAging
1By being proactive about diet, exercise and brain health, you can unlock the power of SuperAging
In SuperAging, the authors emphasise the importance of cultivating a positive Attitude and maintaining a high level of Awareness as the foundation for embracing the SuperAging mindset. These two pillars serve as the cornerstones upon which all other components of SuperAging are built. Activity, the first of the seven A’s, focuses on promoting physical and mental health, covering areas such as wellness, diet, exercise, and brain health. The book provides practical, science-backed guidance in these areas, ensuring that the strategies presented are credible, achievable, and adaptable to one’s lifestyle.
Moreover, the book introduces the concept of integrating various aspects of wellness into a total lifestyle approach, drawing inspiration from the Blue Zones Project – an initiative that identifies common denominators in communities with high longevity rates. The Blue Zones’ holistic approach encourages individuals to move naturally, find purpose, reduce stress, follow a plant-based diet, drink alcohol in moderation, be part of a faith-based community, prioritise family, and maintain strong social networks.
By seamlessly integrating these principles into daily life, SuperAgers can enhance their overall well-being and longevity, ultimately redefining the ageing process.
2Addressing ageism is crucial to thrive and advance the SuperAging mission
In the final chapter of the book, the focus turns to Avoidance, highlighting critical issues that SuperAgers need to navigate in the new world of ageing. Ageism, both in the workplace and the marketplace, poses significant challenges.
Age discrimination at work can hinder SuperAgers’ career prospects and opportunities, while ageist marketing perpetuates outdated stereotypes and slows down the development and adoption of products and services designed for older individuals. Recognising and combating ageism is crucial for SuperAgers to continue thriving and advancing the SuperAging mission, ensuring they are seen, heard, and respected in society.
3Attachment is an essential element of healthy ageing
In the book, the importance of Attachment, or strong social connections and relationships, is emphasised like never before. Scientific research has shown that social isolation and loneliness can have severe negative effects on physical and mental health, equivalent to the harm caused by smoking or unhealthy weight.
SuperAgers recognise the significance of maintaining attachments as they age and actively seek strategies to foster and strengthen them. Digital technology has emerged as a powerful tool to combat isolation, allowing older individuals to connect with others, engage in activities, and receive emotional support.
The SuperAging mindset encourages individuals to proactively address unsatisfying relationships and seek new ones, contributing to a trend of ‘grey divorces.’ Overall, Attachment is not only a desirable environmental or behavioural condition but a biological necessity for healthier ageing and longevity in the SuperAging world.
Strengths and weaknesses, according to readers’ reviews
Challenges traditional expectations of ageing by presenting fresh ideas and strategies to make the later years of life more fulfilling.
Offers practical advice and recommendations for ageing in place and leveraging technological and social advances for an active, independent lifestyle.
Is not limited to older readers; it is a relevant reference for anyone approaching retirement age or involved with someone in that phase of life.
The absence of chapter conclusions or summaries is a significant limitation of the book. Readers may find it helpful to have concise recaps at the end of each chapter to reinforce key takeaways and facilitate better retention of the material.
Best quotes from SuperAging
“Baby Boomers in particular have always been tech-savvy, embracing every new tech possibility (from the Commodore 64 to Facebook) as it came along. It’s a complete myth to characterize them as not being capable of using and leveraging digital technology, including taking full advantage of its ability to contribute to greater Attachment.”
“The negative feelings that younger generations have toward older people have more to do with characterizing them as frail and helpless rather than seeing them as serious adversaries. This same lens is applied even by those who care about older people; a patina of well-meaning condescension prevails. Seniors can’t do much anymore. They have little or nothing to look forward to. But they’ve worked hard, and they deserve an exit scene with at least some dignity built in – it’s that ‘there, there, dear’ syndrome.”
“SuperAging is not just promoting Autonomy or independence; it’s forcing important changes in the concept of dependence.”
SuperAging: Getting Older Without Getting Old by David Cravit and Larry Wolf offers an eye-opening perspective on ageing that challenges traditional expectations and presents fresh ideas and strategies for making the later years of life more fulfilling. The book’s comprehensive exploration of the ‘7 A’s of SuperAging’ provides readers with a holistic roadmap for embracing a dynamic and positive phase of life. It encourages a shift from managing decline to prioritising personal growth, purpose, and seizing the opportunities that come with longer lifespans.
Overall, SuperAging is a valuable reference for those seeking to age gracefully and live an active, independent life well into their later years, making it essential reading for anyone interested in redefining their ageing journey.
Where to buy
You may purchase SuperAging: Getting Older Without Getting Old on Amazon at the best price. It is available in hardcover, audio and Kindle versions, so you may choose an option that appeals to you the most.
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