Not Dead Yet: A Manifesto for Old Age by Julia Neuberger

16th May 2008 at 01:00
If you believe the Saga adverts, your twilight years will be a whirlwind of sunkissed cruises, leisurely cocktails sipped overlooking exotic tundra, and raucous dinners with your glamorous mates, all of whom are called Gerald and spend their spare time running internet start-up companies
If you believe the Saga adverts, your twilight years will be a whirlwind of sunkissed cruises, leisurely cocktails sipped overlooking exotic tundra, and raucous dinners with your glamorous mates, all of whom are called Gerald and spend their spare time running internet start-up companies.

Sadly, the reality is likely to feature rather less in the way of foreign travel, and rather more in the way of bunions and fraudulent double glazing salesmen. In fact, the closest you'll probably get to an internet start-up is when you crawl to your computer keyboard in the wake of some hideous domestic accident to bash out the word "HELP" with your one good finger. If this sounds depressing, it's partly justified, according to the rabbi, writer and peer, Julia Neuberger. In her new book, Not Dead Yet, out this week, she looks at why the British have shamefully neglected their elderly, with one in five people dying amid the stained cushions and flocked wallpaper of residential care homes, despite only one in 20 wanting to.

The tone isn't preachy but, like Neuberger's earlier book, Dying Well, it examines how our preconceptions about life, death and medicine have got us into this sorry state. A thought-provoking read.

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