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November 30 , 2008

The Aging Mind

An owner's manual


No-one approaches aging with enthusiasm. Activities we accomplish easily in our 20s and 30s become more difficult as we grow old but, though change is inevitable, recognising and understanding precisely what is happening to our bodies and minds allows us to continue to manage and enjoy our lives.

Patrick Rabbitt is a cognitive gerontologist who has researched physical and mental aging for over 50 years and so can interpret his personal daily experiences of the aging process through a comprehensive understanding of what gerontological research has revealed about how our bodies and brains age, and how these changes affect our everyday experiences and lives.

Engagingly written, Professor Rabbitt’s book is a fascinating account of why our sensory and cognitive experiences change as we get older, and what these developments mean for our overall physical and emotional well-being. Describing the latest research the book covers the mental changes that affect our daily lives such as those in memory, intelligence, attention, sleep, vision and hearing, taste and smell, touch and balance, anxiety, depression and perception of the passage of time. It also discusses how far we can keep and develop the skills we have mastered over our lifetimes. The book debunks unhelpful myths about the aging process and offers guidance on how we can age better.

This is an absorbing account of the aging process from one of the most eminent gerontologists working today. Its warmth and candour make it an engaging and helpful guide for those interested in understanding their own, or their relatives’ ageing. Its rigour and comprehensiveness make ideal for students seeking an accessible alternative to standard textbooks on aging and for health professionals working with older people.

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