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Never Say Die: The Myth and Marketing of the New Old Age

de Susan Jacoby

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In a narrative that combines the intensely personal with social, economic, and historical analysis, Jacoby turns an unsparing eye on the marketers of longevity--pharmaceutical companies, lifestyle gurus, and scientific businessmen who suggest that there will soon be a "cure" for the "disease" of aging.… (mais)
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This book changed the way we were all thinking about aging. A walk through the American history of aging, perspectives, and marketing to the end. Jacoby cuts through the romantic notions of aging, that it will eventually be cured, that we can be ourselves up to the very old end of a healthy dynamic life. Her writing style of mixing personal anecdotes with statistics, facts and straight-shooting reporting makes this a very readable tome on a very sobering topic; one we try to avoid. ( )
  Bibliofemmes | Mar 5, 2017 |
What a fantastic get-a-hold-of-yourselves-people book. Centered and rational, mature and eloquent, Jacoby gives the best honest assessment of aging that I have not seen anywhere else. "Anywhere else" being mass media, who continues to hawk old age as utopia, less free of infirmities than actual reality. Very impressive in this book as well is that any time research or findings are cited, she puts it in proper context by revealing what salient questions were not asked, what missing data implies, etc. An excellent read that never becomes treacly despite her mention of sad personal experiences. ( )
  MartinBodek | Jun 11, 2015 |
This book stands out as being both extremely disturbing and extremely important. It argues that aging is not, in fact, enjoyable. The societal myth that turning 65 will usher in the Golden Years if only you do things right only makes it more difficult economically, socially, emotionally, and physically, for both the old and their caretakers, when that inevitably turns out not to be the case.

My big take-aways from this book are the following: (1) No matter how physically and mentally spry you are, you will start watching more and more of the people you love die, more and more often, right up until you yourself die. I need to be emotionally prepared for that eventuality, and sensitive to it as a very real cause for depression in the old. (2) Dementia is a disease of old age -- and if you live long enough, it is very likely you will get it. Half of people over 85 have dementia. I should live as if I will become demented in time, and I should *expect* one or both of my parents to lose their minds as they age. (3) It is very hard and very rare to successfully exert control over your death, especially as your caretakers further infantilize you (whether warranted or not). I should make plans now, to avoid burdening my caretakers with what often amounts to an emotionally exhausting decision topped off with medical debt.

Scary, intimidating stuff. But important. And highly recommended for that reason. ( )
  pammab | Feb 26, 2012 |
Susan Jacoby believes that aging Americans have been led to seriously underestimate the financial and health problems they may face as they age. An emphasis on the relatively healthy young/old encourages them to think that normal health and activity levels can be maintained into later life. The truth, according to Jacoby, is that nearly 50% will suffer some degree of dementia as they age and that many will outlive friends, spouses and siblings to face a life restricted by societal barriers such as lack of suitable housing and transport, health problems and finances.
  ritaer | Sep 25, 2011 |
Excellent corrective to the media/advertising blitz encouraging people to think they are going to live forever, or worse, live until 100 and feel like 30 up to that time. Those of us who are 50+ know from our own experiences that the sheer unpredictability of aging mitigates against the idea that ingesting anti-oxidants or other potions will ensure a smooth ride. Those of us with aging parents further understand the profound limitations of reaching 80 and beyond, notwithstanding the very few outliers who beat the odds. Problem is that we all think we will beat the odds. Jacoby is a long overdue wakeup call on that sort of fallacious thinking. ( )
  craigkay | Aug 17, 2011 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 7 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
It is Jacoby’s mission to deflate the exaggeration and to expose all that she considers humbug. She wants to be sure her readers are aware that—hope as we might—aging inevitably brings on a series of gradual, and sometimes rapid, debilitations that are physical, mental, financial, and social, especially for the great majority of Americans who do not fall into the category known as upper middle class or higher. Very appropriately and with forceful emphasis, she points out that “inflated expectations about successful aging, if the body imposes a cruel old age, can lead to real despair.”...

Statistics supporting Jacoby’s viewpoint pour forth from the pages of her book, sometimes so relentlessly on the heels of one another that they make for difficult reading and tempt one to skim sections of the arguments that she presents. The result, unfortunately, is a volume far less powerful than it should have been.
adicionado por atbradley | editarThe New Republic, Sherwin Nuland (Web site pago) (Feb 17, 2011)
 
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Informação do Conhecimento Comum em inglês. Edite para a localizar na sua língua.
Can you imagine old age?  Of course you can't.   I didn't.  I couldn't.   I had no idea what it was like.  Not even a false image--no image.  And nobody wants anything else.  Nobody wants to face any of this before he has to.  How is it all going to turn out?   Obtusenes is de rigeur.

--Philip Roth, The Dying Animal
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In memory of Dr. Robert N. Butler

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Anyone who has not been buried in a vault for the past two decades is surely aware of the media blitz touting the "new old age" as a phenomenon that enables people in their sixties, seventies, eighties, nineties, and beyond to enjoy the kind of rich, full, healthy, adventurous, sexy, financially secure lives that their ancestors could never have imagined.   (Preface)
The last time I saw my grandmother Minnie Broderick, in the summer of her hundredth year, we sat on a riverbank, ate turkey sandwiches, and watched children playing on the grass.  (chapter one)
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And those who live in the kingdom of the well cannot even be certain about the unawareness of a terminal Alzheimer's patient.  "At least she doesn't know" is the conventional salve applied to those grieving for someone who has lost all powers of communication but is still technically alive.  It is indeed terrible to suspect that, in the broken synapses of a broken mind, there might still be seconds or moments of reconnection in which the person is aware of helplessness--rather like those rare patients who become conscious in the middle of surgery but are unable to move or cry for help.
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In a narrative that combines the intensely personal with social, economic, and historical analysis, Jacoby turns an unsparing eye on the marketers of longevity--pharmaceutical companies, lifestyle gurus, and scientific businessmen who suggest that there will soon be a "cure" for the "disease" of aging.

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