Growing Old Gracefully

Sunday lunchtime seemed a good moment to pop into the Book Festival to hear two writers discussing their books on ageing in an interview with Sheena McDonald.

In the book “Borrowed Time”, science writer Sue Armstrong looks at the latest research to ask how and why we age.

Studies on mice suggest that restricting our calorie intake is a good idea. As, of course, is exercise, social contact, and good genes. Those born into a rationed wartime diet seem to be doing better than those born into a more consuming society.

Italian gerontology expert Daniela Mari has studied some of the super old in Italy to learn their art of growing old. Her book “Breakfast with the Centenarians “ seems to suggest that staying stress free, getting adequate sleep, and being resilient all contribute to longevity.

In the lively discussion from the audience, we heard from one lucky lady who had had 3 centenarian aunts and 2 others still going strong in their nineties. The assembled group of pensioners absorbed this phenomenon with great satisfaction. They also approved of the Italian finding that most centenarians enjoyed a little tipple each day.

As we all hirpled, shuffled, or leapt our way out, many of us seemed to feel that a light refreshment in Charlotte Square’s sunny garden might just be another good way to grow old gracefully.

Borrowed Time by Sue Armstrong. Available in Hardback and Kindle editions
Breakfast with the Centenarians by Daniela Mari. Translated by Denise Muir

Available in Kindle and Paperback editions. Both available at Amazon

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