LOOKING FORWARD: New Options for Your Later Years by Bert Kruger Smith

LOOKING FORWARD: New Options for Your Later Years

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For a helpful review of options for the elderly, see instead Smith's 1977 The Pursuit of Dignity. (For financial advice, see James Jorgensen's Your Retirement Income; etc.) Here, addressing ""you who will be the old of the twenty-first century,"" Smith prognosticates, hypothesizes, conjectures--not only inconclusively but with no effect, often, except to raise pointless fears. ""Abuse of the elderly may be one phenomenon that diminishes in the twenty-first century as the proportion of older people increases. . . . On the other hand, the young, increasingly frustrated by the need to care for such a large coterie of old, may lose patience and act cruelly more often."" No judgment is manifest, nor even consistency. Re sex, Smith seems to savor the possibility of ""communal living, the sharing of food, lives, and sexual experiences."" Re housing, she shudders: ""If energy remains in short supply, the. . . old may have to live in group housing built for maximum heat efficiency."" Where Smith does approach present-day actualities (nursing homes, retirement income), she devotes more space to the situations of ""Dorothy"" and ""Millard"" (or ""Phil"" and ""Rebecca"") than to available recourses. Only as regards ""Lifenets"" is there an occasional recommendation (e.g., eliminating disincentives to family support of the elderly) and a modicum of applicable information--on Elderhostels, the Arts and Aging Coalition, and such. Then, returning to the future, Smith projects an Amish model with elements of Alvin Toffler high-tech. Mostly idle thoughts--and undiscriminating.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1982
Publisher: Beacon