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10 Must-Reads for Senior Living Professionals

Laura-ChristensenSo many books, blogs, articles, studies, reports, surveys … there are countless resources for learning more about seniors. But how do you know what’s most important to read to enhance your professional interactions — and your personal relationships — with older adults?
Listed below are 10 good books and blogs to get you started.

These are obviously just a fraction of the thousands of resources available on these subjects. If you have personal favorites, please share your top recommendations. After all, lifelong learning should be a goal for all of us, no matter what our age!

BLOGS

The New Old Age Blog
A New York Times blog about aging, health, finances and relationships between parents and the adult children caring for them. It’s written to and about a generation (largely Boomers) who are dealing with wide-ranging issues facing their aging parents, all the while realizing that they’ll very soon face their own “new old age.”

Boomers: A Trip into the Heart of the Baby Boomer Generation
A blog about Boomer consumers, an area that will drive American business for the next two decades. Author Brent Green — himself a Baby Boomer — is a marketing consultant, author, presenter, opinion writer and researcher, whose focus is on the cultural development, psychology and marketing habits of people born between 1946 and 1964.  

ChangingAging Blogstream
This is a fantastic resource for finding many different approaches, opinions, experiences and ideas about the subject of aging. The site’s self-description is: ChangingAging™ is a platform to challenge conventional views on aging. We believe aging is a strength, rich in developmental potential and growth. Join us and begin changing aging today. Log on and you’ll find a network of pro-aging blogs publishing updates into a single stream of content.

BOOKS

Losing My Mind: An Intimate Look at Life with Alzheimer’s
Thomas DeBaggio
Diagnosed at age 57, the author reveals a deeply personal account of his firsthand experience with Alzheimer’s, describing in vivid detail how his progressive degeneration affected both him and those closest to him.

How to Say It to Seniors: Closing the Communication Gap with Our Elders
David Solie
A thoughtful and sensible guide to improving interactions with seniors through sensitive, patient and productive communication. The author presents numerous common scenarios as settings for helping adult children talk to their aging loved ones about their independence, safety and overall well-being.

What Are Old People For? How Elders Will Save the World
William H. Thomas
Geriatrician William H. Thomas, M.D., discusses many subjects, among them the importance of learning to enjoy what aging has to offer, the need to replace today’s nursing homes with positive alternatives, and steps for building a society where aging, longevity and the wisdom of the elderly are used to build an improved life for people of all ages.

Ageless Marketing: Strategies for Reaching the Hearts & Minds of the New Customer Majority
David B. Wolfe with Robert E. Snyder
The authors document the results of a landmark research project on Boomers, encompassing their core values and buying behaviors, and emotional factors that define this segment of consumers. Among other things, you’ll learn that “empathetic connections” drive many of their purchase decisions, why traditional approaches simply aren’t effective, and how to build marketing campaigns that increase brand loyalty and improve customer satisfaction.

Designated Daughter: The Bonus Years with Mom
D.G. Fulford with Phyllis Greene
This is a refreshing and inspiring mother-daughter story about sharing late-life years together. The author tells the story of how, after her father’s death, she moved home to be close to and help her mother — a move that brought her unexpected emotional rewards.

Dot Boom: Marketing to Baby Boomers Through Meaningful Online Engagement
Dave Weigelt and Jonathan Boehman
Boomers are very much attuned to interactive media, making online marketing channels a great way to connect with them. This book shows you how to build meaningful, effective online campaigns, employing emotionally driven, experiential marketing techniques that are most effective with older consumers.

Successful Aging
John W. Rowe, M.D. and Robert L. Kahn, Ph.D.
Results of the 10-year MacArthur Foundation Study, the most extensive, comprehensive study on aging in America, reveal that the way you live — much more so than the genes you were born with — determine your health and vitality. This book deals with three fundamental questions about human aging: What does it mean to age successfully? What can each of us do to be successful at this most important life task? What changes in American society will enable more men and women to age successfully?

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