Dychtwald, 38, a psychologist and gerontologist, has spent the past 15 years researching and speaking about the abilities and strengths of the elderly. With freelance writer Flowers, he focuses here on the aging of the baby boom generation, predicting an ``age wave'' that will change society and challenge its gerontophobic myths because of the quality of life the boomers have come to expect. Many troubling statistics about aging reappearthe rising numbers of the frailest 85-plus group, the preponderance of single (usually widowed) women, the lower ratio of children to parentsbut the book's interest lies in its creative proposals: volunteer service credits that can be drawn on in later life, ``matrix families'' made up of adult peers living together, corporate ``parent care'' benefits, even lifestyle experiments such as man-sharing. 150,000 first printing, $100,000 ad/promo; first serial to Family Circle; BOMC, QPBC and Fortune Book Club alternates. (Jan.)
The author, president of Age Wave, Inc., an education and communications firm providing information on America's aging society, examines the outlook for America as our population becomes older and forecasts the changes this phenomenon will bring about. As many of our ``old age'' myths are dispelled, the older worker will no longer be seen as nonproductive, and some people may never retire, or may retire to take other jobs. The author predicts the demise of the child-centered nuclear family, to be replaced by an adult-centered ``matrix'' family. Marriage patterns will change, with older women marrying younger men and many people marrying more than once. Our physical environments will be adapted to meet the needs of older users in a society that is no longer youth oriented. Heavy media coverage is planned for this book, so public libraries will probably wish to purchase to meet patron demand. BOMC alternate.-- Ruth H. Dukelow, Lib . of Michigan, Lansing
YA As the trend toward the aging of America continues, books on this topic will be in greater demand. This particular book gives current data on such topics as the rise in the average life expectancy, annual birth rate, and changing behavioral patterns. In addition, considerable space is spent on looking at trends in leisure, life styles, work, personal relationships, family, and the market place. Rather than dwelling on such statistics as frequency of abuse in nursing homes, Dychtwald looks at the changing ratio of grandparents to grandchildren and the increase in college attendance by people over 65. He profiles what may be major changes in retirement living and the design and look of America when we become a nation of elder boomers. Today's students may find particularly relevent the section about the shift in responsibility and focus that they will be required to make when their parents and grandparents turn to them for financial support and care giving. The lack of an index restricts the book's use for research on specific areas, but it does include many names of people and organizations within the text which could lead to further research. Carolyn Praytor Boyd, Episcopal High School, Bellaire, Tex.