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'How to Handle Later Life' - An offer of free books


I am a member at Gravesend Methodist Church and a one-time member of Raynes Park Methodist. I am also the author of a handbook for older people entitled How to Handle Later Life (Amaranth Books, 2017). In its 1,000 pages, I explore the main choices people face as they grow older and the ways in which they can avoid potential problems.

Although intended mainly for older people and their families, professionals from nurses to clergy have found my book useful. Thus the Rev Albert Jewell, Methodist minister for 58 years and the former head of pastoral care at Methodist Homes, wrote in his review in the Methodist Recorder:

"Shoard addresses in a thorough-going and balanced manner the biggest concerns and decisions people face as they grow older… Reliable and comprehensive… It should be found in every public library… As someone who has been involved in dementia care and research over the years, I find the author's chapter on this subject particularly impressive. Its 25 pages are essential reading."

Over the last twelve months, the pandemic has taken away opportunities to sell my book, whether at speaking events, conferences and exhibitions or in bookshops. My publisher has retained copies for sale, but I have bought others which it would otherwise have pulped to reduce storage costs, and am offering them free to individuals and groups involved in supporting older people in churches. If you are an ordained or lay person specially interested in engaging with older people through your church and would like a copy, just drop me a line with your name, address and a cheque made out to me for £3.70 to cover post and packing; my address is PO Box 664, Rochester, Kent ME1 9JB.

The book includes a framework to understand the realities of growing older, both physical changes to the body and the particular nutritional, exercise and psychological needs of older people.  I go on to examine the challenges growing older in Britain today can bring in fields from housing, health and transport to finance, help in the home and social contact.

Reviewers and readers tell me the book is eminently readable, perhaps partly because it includes many case examples, drawn from the four corners of the UK, to show readers what they can reasonably expect from, say, a good retirement village, care-and-repair scheme, social care package, hospice or live-in care arrangement, for example.

Amaranth Books’ website provides further information, including links to the introduction, table of contents, reviews, sample chapters and a facility to purchase.

With best wishes,

Marion Shoard


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