Older adults are more diverse bilogically, socially and psychologically than any other age group. It is easier to describe a typical two-year-old or 20-year-old than it is a typical 75-year-old. Within the group called elderly, 65-year-olds are clearly very different 100-year-olds. This book is about coping with the normal ageing process and seeing its potentially positive aspects, while dealing with the problems inherent in growing older. Billig describes a view of ageing which debunks common stereotypes that most old people are frail and helpless, and points to the value of relationships, experiences and inherent personality characteristics as major assets in the later years. Relationships with children and grandchildren, issues of loss, sexuality, sleep and planning for the future are featured. In addition, Billig also deals with two of the major psychiatric problems of later life - depression and dementia (especially Alzheimer's Disease) - in an informative and supportive manner that focuses on treatability and coping. This book guides readers through the often misunderstood facets of the mental health of the older person.
It distinguishes the expectable, normal aspects of coping with later life from those that are more serious and need to be evaluated as significant psychological problems. Nathan Billig has also written "To Be Old and Sad: Understanding Depression and the Elderly".