Marion Shoard

How to Handle Later Life, published on 1 September 2017, is the result of 15 years of unsparing, independent, UK-wide investigation. It reveals what works, what doesn’t, and how to navigate the pitfalls which frequently confound those seeking care and support. The author, Marion Shoard, an award-winning writer, first became involved in the choices that confront older people when her mother lost her sight and developed dementia. Acclaimed for her pioneering work in the environment, she has switched her focus and produced a comprehensive – and essential – guide to later life.

As the baby-boomers get their bus passes, old age is rising up the public agenda. Yet the media concentrate either on the spectacular achievements of nonagenarians or the horrors of elder abuse in rogue care homes. Most people would rather know what ageing will mean for them.

While bookshops carry plenty of guides on childcare, no book explains comprehensively what ageing means and how to cope with its challenges. To fill this gap Marion Shoard has written a 1,160-page guide, How to Handle Later Life. The book is based partly on experience with her own parents and help she has given other older people, but primarily on extensive research into all aspects of the subject all over the UK.

The book’s scope includes:

• Carers’ rights                                                           • Retirement & extra care housing

• Powers of attorney                                                 • Travel, transport & leisure

• Hospitals & hospices                                              • Exercise & nutrition

• The science of ageing                                             • Strokes, continence & falls

• Dementia & depression                                         • Employment rights

• Inheritance & state benefits                                  • New relationships & social groups

• Hiring help in the home                                         • Gadgets & mobility aids

• Psychological well-being                                        • End-of-life choices