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Here at last is a compelling and inspiring presentation of what determines how well we age--the results of the MacArthur Foundation Study of Aging in America, which show how to maintain optimum physical and mental strength throughout later life.
Research into aging has been revolutionized in the past ten years largely due to the MacArthur Study, which under the leadership of Drs. John W. Rowe and Robert L. Kahn created a network of leading research scientists from key fields to determine what aging actually involves. Rejecting the established approach of studying aging in terms of anticipated decline, these scientists set out to identify the factors that were enabling vast numbers of people to preserve and even enhance their mental and physical vitality in later life.
Successful Aging brings together the remarkable results of the study for the first time. They explode the myths about aging that have long shaped individual and institutional attitudes toward growing older, including the biggest myth of all: The key to aging well is choosing your parents wisely. In fact, they discovered that lifestyle choices--more than genes--determine how well we age. Drs. Rowe and Kahn outline those vital choices, including changes in diet, types of exercise, mental stimulation, self-efficacy, and dynamic connections. These choices can make a difference no matter how late in life they are made. In addition, Drs. Rowe and Kahn include the latest research-based strategies to delay or prevent the common diseases of old age.
Society can also influence how we age. Drs. Rowe and Kahn detail innovative programs and policies that are enabling older men and women to stay healthy and to continue to contribute to their societies.
For all of us, the rewards of successful aging are great; this eye-opening work shows how they can be attained and enjoyed.
From the Hardcover edition.