The ""nondefined dilemma"" of the old has been given shape and meaning here in a definition of their problems, attitudes, and existence in a world which often excludes them and imposes on them a helplessness and uselessness which is not theirs. Mrs. Cabot's husband, Hugh Cabot of Harvard, and a Dr. Monroe founded The Age Center of New England In 1955 where for perhaps the first time extensive studies were made of 1000 individual cases. Her book, while based on their findings, frames the figures in personal scenes and stories and gives a compassionate perspective of this time to life which for many more people today is too often filled with bitterness, anger, despair and loneliness. She contrasts the attitudes of the young towards the aged, with the aged as they see themselves, their mental and physical health (only 11% of the 16 million over 65 are incapacitated); their views of work- or retirement (there are mixed responses and mixed results when retirement is forced on them); of money; of food- and eating patterns; of their intellectual powers and thinking patterns; of their perspective of time- and their broader view of life and death. It provides an overall orientation for all those who equate ""oldness with uselessness"" and should encourage understanding, enlist sympathy.