In this wonderful new book on aging, the author Jane Fonda explores a new model for aging in the current longevity revolution--one that integrates learning, production, and leisure (all three stages of life) throughout the life stages instead of compartmentalizing them to youth, adulthood, and retirement--and how this integration can play out. She uses the metaphors of the arch (the old way of aging) and the staircase--continued ascent, especially in a spiral--the new way of aging. This book is about the last third of life, beginning at age sixty--for boomers and seniors, both male and female. Even though the author's perspective will appeal more to women than men, the book is informative and intended for both men and women.
The author discusses eleven key ingredients for vital living and successful aging: (1) not abusing alcohol, (2) not smoking, (3) getting enough sleep, (4) being physically active, (5) eating a healthy diet, (6) brain health through learning, (7) positivity, (8) introspection and life review, (9) connection, (10) generativity, and (11) caring about the bigger pictures. She covers these areas in depth, including working out (with an actual workout for older folks in an appendix)--which you'd expect. She includes a very frank, helpful, and in-depth discussion of sex (including masturbation, sex toys, and erectile dysfunction medications) in an open and tasteful manner. She also discusses practical social problems of aging like poverty, nursing home care, elder abuse, etc. She includes the topic of meditation--a work-"in"--as well as well as the discussions of working out.
The book is heavily based on current research in aging, but also includes the author's valuable personal experience and personal interviews. This is the best part of the book, I think. Jane Fonda's perspective is unique and her writing style is always excellent--she is an intelligent and articulate author and a courageous, real, compassionate person. Her book is not dry but fun to read. It includes numerous black and white photographs as well as an index. Filled with powerful life lessons and wisdom, this is the most exciting, hopeful, positive book I've read on aging well, at the same time being practical and realistic and not romanticizing the losses and challenges of aging.