This book was recommended to me by Cody Sype from the Functional Aging Institute when I attended his certification seminar.
I am accustomed to going to seminars, conferences, etc., where books are recommended and I am often cynical, but as a guy who is not getting any younger and is somewhat anxious about aging, this book sparked my interest.
Marc Middleton makes the argument that the “Machine”–the healthcare industrial complex, government, media and culture in general–wants all of us as we age to feel helpless, frail, weak and dependent. The Machine does this because it makes money for them; entire industries are built around this notion and we buy into it because it is so prevalent in our society.
Middleton’s goal is to show us another way. Retiring and aging aren’t about being put out to pasture. On the contrary, our 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond can be the happiest and most meaningful years of our lives. Middleton brings multiple examples of ordinary older Americans doing incredible things. These are not all far-fetched examples; all the individuals are accessible and inspiring.
I can honestly say that this book got me to rethink my attitude about aging. I know to look at the Machine with skepticism. I know that many of us reinforce ageism without even realizing it. I know that unless our society changes its point of view, we will have a big problem on our hands. This demographic is growing; unless we are able to dismantle the Machine, we had better be prepared for a whole sector our economy warehoused in long-term care facilities. Is that what we want?
I am inspired by this book. It has changed my thoughts about aging and given me the courage to rock whatever time I have left!