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Review: What’s Age Got to Do with It? by Louise Morse

Updated on January 24, 2018
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MsDora, seven-year online writer, shares poetry, creative writing, quotes and reflections on how writing and writers influence our lives.

“We are compelled to accept that life has three stages—we are children, or adolescence, or adults. That’s it—no old age.”

“Sales of anti-ageing products show a burning desire to avoid life’s next developmental challenge. But still it will come.”– Dr. William Thomas, Harvard Medical School graduate

Louise Morse includes the statements above in What’s Age Got to Do with It? which presents old age as a meaningful part of life. The photo below is depicted on her book cover.

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File Size: 1195 KB
Print Edition: Paperback
Print Length: 192 pages
Publication Date: November 17, 2017
Publisher: Monarch Books
ISBN: 9780857217486
Genre: Religion and Spirituality

Louise Morse has a MA in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and has authored several other books including Dementia: Pathways to Hope and Worshipping with Dementia.

In What's Age Got to Do with It? Morse proposes that even though ageing comes toward the end of life, God intends for us to continue the process of developing, maturing and contributing our talents. She encourages the younger folk to recognize and respect elderhood (because their day is coming), and she counsels the elders to embrace it and maximize its significance. Following are synopses of the main concepts that readers will learn.

The Real Life Design

"There's no sense that adulthood is the peak of the design...Older people represent the pinnacle of the life cycle—a time of completion, of fruition, of learning, and of knowing God."

From the Old Testament records of how long individuals lived and the stories of long livers like Abraham, Jacob and Moses among others, it can be seen that God has keen interest in our lives, even to old age. This period after adulthood is not designed to be one of decline and senility. Despite physical frailty, it is the period which facilitates the strengthening and transformation of the “inner man.”

Morse subscribes to the view of Roger Hitchings (minister and experienced worker with older people) that there is a Biblical doctrine of ageing which explains our reason for being here. It spells out the instructions of how to progress from birth to age. It presents a ripe old age as one of the greatest blessings to bestowed upon mankind.

Free Share and Enjoy
Free Share and Enjoy | Source

Elderhood

"To obtain it [elderhood] you have to be willing to outgrow adulthood. You have to eschew all the anti-ageing products and admit that your body is growing old.”

Generally, individuals after retirement age are called seniors. Morse considers elderhood to be the role of seniors. They have work to do. It could be in the area of their previous occupation, since they are still considered teachers, doctors, or whatever their titles were. Or, it could be in another area for which God designed them to perform the “good works” they have been dreaming about, which He planned for them to do.

His primary purpose for them is to share their experience, and proclaim His goodness to the next generation. They become encouragers, trainers, “watchmen on the wall” who speak out against wrongdoing, and participants in community building. Especially at this stage, they deserve support for their ministry from the church and respect for their position from everyone.

The Invisible Gorilla

"In September 2011 when, within 24 hours, animal activists evacuated dogs and cats ... disabled and older people were abandoned in their apartments for up to seven days."

Morse explains the psychological experiment which lends the gorilla image to ageism (a form of bigotry similar to racism and sexism). She warns that to older people clinging to adulthood, ageism becomes invisible even while it is making them invisible. She cites examples of ageism in the media, one being a newspaper drawing of younger people pushing older people in wheelchairs to the edge of a cliff. No caption was necessary.

Older people sometimes subject themselves to ageism by harboring negative thoughts about their abilities or their usefulness. Morse presents ways to defeat this invisible gorilla because she sees it as diametrically opposed to the elderhood which God designed.

The Turning Tide

"These Baby Boomers, powerful because of their numbers and their non-conformist attitude, will reinvent the concept of old age."

Marjorie 'Bo' Gilbert, First 100-Year Old to Model in Vogue UK

Photo by Harvey Nichols
Photo by Harvey Nichols | Source

Morse tells many stories about older people who are living their lives to the fullest, some motivated by industries and organizations which recognize their value. The story of Marjorie “Bo” Gilbert who modeled for Vogue in 2016 at the age of 100 is just one of them. Morse also mentions politicians in their 70s, Hollywood films featuring actors in their 70s and 80s, centenarians on YouTube doing yoga and other incredible feats.

The number of elders increases daily. They contribute to the economy, provide childcare and other services which help the community thrive. Wise leaders are taking note, and instead of telling them to move over, are highlighting their exemplary discipline and diligence. Many of their stories are being published in major newspapers. Morse thinks that God intended for the elders to inspire young folks to keep learning, and to follow their example of good works all the way into elderhood.

Personal Opinion and Disclosure

Louise Morse is British and her stories and illustrations are mostly from the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe. It seems that the attitude toward ageing is similar everywhere because her conclusions are relatable.

She supports her information with research findings and quotes, and her repetition of quotes in different chapters is very helpful. She does not let the reader forget that her views are Christian, but her content is interesting and helpful to all readers regardless of religious orientation.

The book is easy to read, and beneficial to elders and all potential elders.


I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley (https://www.netgalley.com). There was no request for a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

© 2018 Dora Weithers

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    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      2 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Margie. Keep striving and be as positive as often as, and for as long as possible.

    • Margie Lynn profile image

      Southern Accents 

      2 months ago from the USA

      Another baby boomer here! Positive thinking takes us to another level in aging! Wish I could say I am always positive, but I strive to be! Great hub Dora about this book!

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      2 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Peggy. Here we have a positive book to read, an interesting movie to watch, and a beautiful model to admire. What's not to like about being older? I appreciate your input.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      2 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Since I am from the baby boomer generation it is safe to say that I am now in that later stage of life. This sounds like a very positive book and the movie GlenR mentioned below also sounds like it would be enjoyable to watch. The photo of Marjorie 'Bo' Gilbert at age 100 is amazing!

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      5 months ago from The Caribbean

      Glenis, thanks for your input. That movie sounds like one I would like to see. I appreciate your mention of it.

    • Glenis Rix profile image

      GlenR 

      5 months ago from UK

      Interesting reading, Dora. I think a lot more about ageing positively now that I am seventy. Old age comes upon much more rapidly than the younger generation can hope to understand. In my view, wisdom comes with age - certainly in my case, after a largely misspent youth. Coincidentally, I went to see a newly released film on Sunday, Finding Your Feet, which was about revelling in old age and making the most of every opportunity that life presents - which is the way to go - at any age.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      5 months ago from The Caribbean

      Lawrence, thank you for sharing the friendly NZ perspective on old age. The absence of discrimination makes me think I would like to be there. I appreciate your input.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      5 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      MsDora

      In the company I work for, about 40% of our workforce (around 150 drivers) are over 65, and at least 2 are just under 80 years old!

      Many times I'll have a kid get on the bus, and the first thing they do is ask "is Henry working today?" (he's 79) and then I often find out he used to take their father to school 30 years ago!

      By the way, these guys put a ten hour day in five days a week!

      In NZ it's illegal to discriminate on the grounds of age., people can work to whatever age they feel is right for them to stop. They still get their government pension, but that's only 60% of the average wage, so for many, it allows them to 'slow down' but still have a good income.

      One other thing that affects the way things are looked at here is there's a very strong influence from Maori who have a system based on the tribal elders who still have a huge say in things, anything the government does, they have to explain to both the Crown (we're still part of the commonwealth with a 90 year old Queen) and the Maori tribes!

      This was a good informative review.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      That's great Audrey and you wear 22 very well. You'll enjoy the book. Thanks for commenting.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      I'm not old...I've just been 22 for a long, long, time. :)

      What an inspiring article this is. I absolutely agree with this: . . ."even though ageing comes toward the end of life, God intends for us to continue the process of developing, maturing and contributing our talents. "

      Miss Gilbert looks amazing. And a vogue model at age 100. I'll be buying this book. Thanks for this review.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Natalie. I'm sure that this book will help answer your question. Age is not to be feared, but appreciated.

    • Natalie Frank profile image

      Natalie Frank 

      6 months ago from Chicago, IL

      Now that I am getting older, I find myself wondering what the point of old age is. Do we really need for everything to wear out at the end of life? Shouldn't this be the time we are able to grow the most? I will be looking for this book to see what the author has to say. I think it will make me better deal with this whole aging thing which is starting to happen at what seems to be a faster and faster rate. Thanks for the review.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Jill. When I encourage my readers, I also encourage myself. Doubly encouraged when I read comments like yours.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Tamajo. The more your embrace the aging (or any other stage of life) the more you learn and enjoy. Welcome the world of elders!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 

      6 months ago from United States

      I love how so many of your hubs are aimed at changing our perception of the human life cycle and encouraging us to appreciate the beauty inherent in all stages of life. Thank you, Ms. Dora.

    • Tamarajo profile image

      Tamarajo 

      6 months ago

      Hi Dora,

      I'm embracing the aging thing. The older I get the more focused I become on the more important things of life.

      We miss much as a society when the aging population is discounted.

      I enjoyed this thought provoking review.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Bill. Society considers old age to be when they're ready to replace us in the workplace with a newer model; we get there when they put us there.

      In our minds, [our] youth is renewed daily (Psalm 103:5).

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      6 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Sounds like another interesting book, Dora. When does old age begin? I'm just wondering if I'm there yet!

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Chitrangada. The book has many inspiring stories of older folks who got it right. You said it very well!

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Manatita. I'll go looking for your poem. Would you be kind enough to clarify those birthday details in an email? Thanks!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      6 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Great refreshing article and a wonderful review!

      Aging is natural and it is obvious. What’s important is, to be positive towards life and keep ourselves busy, happy and healthy.

      Thanks for sharing this excellent article!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      6 months ago from london

      I don't know about you, Dee, but I will turn seven (7) in 2 weeks. So I'm a seven year old boy.

      Old age is a new page and it's so good of you and others to highlight this. I read a book called Growing Younger by a nun once. So beautiful!

      Of course Guruji has demonstrated in his life and aphorisms, the fact that we can do so much more even in advancing years! Like a Dora Isaac Weithers that I know.

      Morse must be an enlightened soul and I do love your 100 yr old. She looks charming! Hope you read my positive poem on growing older. Peace!!

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks Lori. It's a really good book. Your grandson is very thoughtful. You deserve each other. Best to both of you going forward.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Kari. The book is really interesting and the author gives story after story to discourage ageism. Let's plan to enjoy our elderhood.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Dear Michael, thanks for your kind comment. For the Christian, God's will is our first priority, even when it comes to ageing, so I agree with you that the Biblical perspective is the best way to go. I like the attitude of your 93-year old neighbor.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      6 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      Dora, you write book reviews splendidly. I love this topic, especially now that I'm in my 60s. I've often been struck by how the Bible portrays elderhood. This writer really inspires me on how to look at aging. I struggle a lot with getting older, despite the fact that 60 is the new 40. I was with my 16 year old grandson the other day who said "Nana, most people your age are in wheelchairs." Then he put his arm around me lovingly and said "So you're doing really good." He meant it all in sincere love. I told him to remember his comment when he's sixty. I won't be around to see his reaction, but I know it will be funny. Great review Dora.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      6 months ago from Ohio

      This sounds like a wonderful book to read. Ageism exists and we need to not feed into it. Thanks for the heads up. :)

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 

      6 months ago

      Great read MsDORA, great read. The idea itself to write truth about aging from Maker's perspective is bold and practical. We need to be informed what is there ahed of us toward the sunset of earthly life, while still young. There is no secret that tomorrow we will be a day older. As you said "God intends for us to continue the process of developing, maturing and contributing our talents." Great to know and keep God in perspective from as early in life as possible. The best part is when we accept His bid for becoming family members, by receiving CHRIST THE LIVING WORD, thus being authorized call Him Our Father. The loving Father who is always with us providing with all we need including good healthy physical body. His Spirit leads and teaches us to right diet, exsercise, activity, giving enough power to act young, happy and peaceful.

      In my neighborhood lives a 93 years young lady, former businesswoman who made plans how she will live in her nineties! Now she confesses, that Jesus Christ in her life made/makes all the difference. Though limited in certain activities, she lives single ( by some assistance a few hours a day) saying that she must stay here until all her assigenmet given by the Heavenly Father is completed. Wonderful!

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Tim. That is the the exact illustration the author used to come up with the name "invisible gorilla" for ageism. You encourage me with your observation that the world needs the elders and their expertise.

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 

      6 months ago from U.S.A.

      Excellent article. In the U.S., there is pressure placed on the need to appear or be youthful, although we place value on age in certain instances.

      Reading your article, I could not help but think of "blind inattention." This concept was first noticed when researchers had participants watch an interesting situation on TV. In the meantime, another researcher dressed up as a gorilla and walked into the room, even touching one of the participants lightly. Few, if any of the participants noticed the "gorilla" in the room.

      You are right, Baby Boomers have a wealth of experience and knowledge which can benefit the Christian faith and society. All over the world, we needn't ignore this fact. If we fail to recognize the need for these individuals and their valuable expertise, many gorillas may tap our shoulders.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Flourish. We do appreciate animals and animal rescuers. Please accept my apology on behalf of the author for using that illustration. Everyone deserves the respect that is due to them.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Yves. Elders certainly deserve some honor. Almost everyday, we have the opportunity to demonstrate that.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thank you, Linda. This book is useful to everyone, and yes, the message is all positive.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      6 months ago from USA

      Although I agree very much with the notion that we must respect people of all ages and not diminish the experience that having lived longer offers, I sure wish she didn’t resort to the tired pets vs. people notion. In the midst of tragedy and crisis, aid workers help how and where they can. Faulting kindhearted animal rescuers who were on a planned mission to help animals in need has nothing to do with disabled and elderly people who were also unfortunately trapped. It’s apples and oranges and we should instead appreciate anyone who helped during crisis. Your book review was wonderfully written. I just wish the author of the book could better understand the perspective of helpers in crisis. She’s being awful judgmental.

    • savvydating profile image

      Yves 

      6 months ago

      Our elders should never be relegated to the back of the bus. They put in their time, and they deserve our respect. A wonderful review, Ms. Dora.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      6 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is another inspirational article, Dora. There are so many worthwhile things that older people can do, both to help themselves and to help others. Thank you for sharing an interesting book review.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Peg. The author makes it clear that our primary purpose as elders is to proclaim God's goodness to the next generation. Makes sense, doesn't it?

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Ann. I get the feeling from reading the book that the UK is more concerned than some others about accommodating their elders. You are blessed to enjoy such interest from your grandchildren. Best to you all, going forward.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Denise. The responsibility is ours to find the opportunity and put forth the determination to live fully. With God's help, we can do it.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      I like the basis of this book. The quote, "Morse thinks that God intended for the elders to inspire young folks to keep learning, and to follow their example of good works all the way into elderhood" is truly uplifting.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      6 months ago from SW England

      An insightful review of this book, Dora. It's a concept that should be embraced by all. It's true that the UK is getting much better at accepting that 'elderhood' is benefitting society and realising that we are still capable of working.

      I'm pleased to say that my grandchildren are interested in my views and my history.

      Ann

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      6 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Aging is certainly no piece of cake! The changes our bodies go through are just as significant now as they were when we were adolescents! I like this woman's perspective. We don't have to become society's latest throw away. We can live meaningful lives full of activity and purpose. All it takes is determination on our part, and an avenue to make it happen!

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Bill. It's great to have you a companion elder as we journey toward the finale. You inspire me.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Devika. I always admire how positive you are even in the challenges you face. You are going to be one cheerful elder.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Frank. So glad that you learn about elderhood before you get there. Stay tuned!

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Jackie. I'm sure that I'll need this book for future reference so I'm keeping it. I agree with you that trust in God makes a great difference in the lives of older people.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, as I approach seventy, this was a breath of fresh air. I really have been blessed in the aging department. Life is good; I am healthy; I am busy and happy....you are always such a positive person in your writings. I appreciate you.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Mary. I pray that we have the courage to follow in the steps of the pacesetters. We do well to appreciate what they do.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Louise. Marjorie presents a challenge for those of us who care to look our best to the very end. I believe that attitude helps.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      What has age got to do with living your life? I always think of how I feel not what age I am to be positive and so true views here.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      6 months ago from Shelton

      MsDora.. wow.. it's so damn true, I never thought or even looked at it from that point of view.. I too always thought life had three stages.. thank you for pointing this out.. love the hub

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      6 months ago from The Beautiful South

      Some great points and this does seem a very beneficial book to read, if not add to our library, Dora. Only with God is there any hope of getting through and facing each challenge and there is always the knowledge that we do have a home on the other side which may not be a lift to all but is to us who trust. It is great the elderly do seem to do so much better today.

      You are such a bundle of good news that I always enjoy!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      6 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I'm happy to read that so many elderly are breaking ageism. These models will definitely change so much of our notions that limit us from enjoying our lives.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      6 months ago from Norfolk, England

      Oh I love the photo of Majorie. Even at 100 years old she still looks gorgeous.

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