Even if you are not elderly, there is something to love in the book Rich in Years by Johann Christoph Arnold. While some of the chapters address specific issues (nearly) exclusive to the elderly, most of the topics discuss things that all of us will face at some point in our lives. If you or a loved one are facing a serious or life-limiting illness, or if you’ve lost a loved one, you will find wisdom and encouragement in this easy-to-read book.
Mr. Arnold addresses issues without demographic boundaries such as “Accepting Changes,” “Finding Purpose,” and “Keeping Faith”. Topics that are pertinent to individuals and families faced with serious or terminal illnesses include “Living With Dementia,” “Moving Forward,” “Finding Peace,” “Saying Goodbye,” “Continuing On” and “Beginning Anew”. Topics aimed at anyone who is advanced in years include “Growing Older,” “Accepting Changes” and “Combating Loneliness.”
I am living with a disabling and life-limiting illness and I found Mr. Arnold’s words to be quite encouraging:
It is only when we dwell in our past, using our old measure of self-worth, that our bodies seem decrepit in comparison. If we look at what we can give, rather than our limitations, we will be able to accept our new role.
When I was diagnosed I was still relatively physically functional and able to continue in my career. Eventually, the disabling effects of my illness made it impossible for me to continue and I had to leave the job that I loved and that had, to a large extent, defined me for nearly two decades. Changing that role has been the hardest part of my illness. I felt lost and extremely depressed for quite some time. I have come to the point now where I can accept my new role, but it was extremely difficult. There is wisdom to “letting go” without “giving up.”
If you are elderly, or have an elderly loved one, I encourage you to read this book and share it with them. I’d also recommend the book for anyone facing a serious, life-altering illness or injury. There is much wisdom here!
I received a complementary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.