I Don't Feel Old: Experience of Later Life by Paul Thompson
How does later life really feel? Is the experience of growing older today different from how it was in the past? Drawing on several hundred printed and recorded autobiographical recollections, and a new set of life story interviews with three generations of families, this book gives a view of later life through the eyes of ordinary men and women. Little has ever been written by historians about growing older in earlier generations. The memories of grandparents are used to explore this neglected past and recapture the quality of family relationships up to 150 years ago. Because sociologists and gerontologists, policy experts and health researchers have concentrated on problems, they have reinforced common images of old age as a time of dependence, incapability and withdrawal. The men and women here, from their 60s to their 80s reject these derogatory images. Most of them have met later life as an active challenge. They tell of meaning and fulfilment found in very different and sometimes strikingly creative ways - through old and new skills in work or leisure, caring for others, grandparenting, companionship and love.