Authors: Kathy N. Johnson, PhD, CMC:  James H. Johnson, PhD
Lily Sarafan, MS            
ISBN: 978-0-615-28194-0
Publisher: Home Care Press

Click Here To Purchase Happy to 102: The Best Kept Secrets to a Long and Happy Life

A Primer for Aging

The premise of Happy to 102 is that people can age well if they start young and are willing to incorporate some basic lifestyle changes to off-set or delay some natural aging characteristics. The authors seek to raise the awareness of how to age thoughtfully by presenting their research, experience and suggestions in a concise, easy-to-read format.

The content is organized into chapters that cover, among other things, nutrition, exercise, safety and mental well-being. An introduction to the mind-set that needs to be established is most helpful and the conclusion citing success stories world-wide leaves the reader with an optimistic view of becoming a centenarian.

The authors take the reader through the natural aging life-cycle of independence to inter-dependence to dependence to lay the groundwork for accommodating the changes that naturally occur. While previous generations were cultured to be frugal and save for their children’s inheritance rather than spending their resources on their own care, the new thought direction is to identify how an aging person can use their resources to retain as much independence for as long as possible. The authors define independence as “…being in control of how and when things are done.” The pitch is to use in-home care assistants and care companions between total independence and the move to assisted care or full care facilities.

I was particularly intrigued by the chapter on the technology currently available and also in development for aging assistance. The authors described an electronic kettle available in Japan that is capable of sending an automatic e-mail message twice a day to designated people that Grandma has made her tea. This is an example of a more natural monitoring device than the more common telephone-based monitoring buttons that many seniors depend on for summoning help.

While there are, indeed, 102 suggestions for happily enjoying as many extended years as possible, the reader needs to keep in mind that these suggestions will require much more information and research to successfully apply them to those who will benefit most from them.  For example, the life alert button is readily available to most seniors and is simple to use, but overcoming the idea that it is a “baby monitor” in the eyes of the one who has to wear it is another matter altogether. I would have appreciated some ideas on how to get current seniors to accept many of the aids that are available to them right now. The seniors I have experience with fight aids rather than embrace them.

I recommend this book to readers who are looking for information on how to age gracefully themselves or who are just beginning to gradually slip into the care-giver role for a loved one. The suggestions and reader-ready format in “Happy to 102” will provide a confident beginning in understanding the mixed blessing of advanced age.

Click Here To Purchase Happy to 102: The Best Kept Secrets to a Long and Happy Life