Aging with Grace
Dispatches from the Front Lines
“We’re not alone on this journey.
Everywhere I go, my readers
tell me they recognize themselves
– or their parents – in my stories.”
Helen Hinchliff is the author of Aging With Grace: Dispatches from the Front Lines.
Aging is part of life’s rich plan, so Helen decided the graceful thing to do is embrace the journey, doing whatever she can to remain healthy and fit as long as possible. Twice widowed and a caregiver to two husbands, as well as her parents, Helen uses her own experience to call attention—with compassion, facts, and humour—to a looming challenge for us all: how do we take care of ourselves and our parents as we all grow older.
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Helen Hinchliff has written an indispensable guidebook for how to “embrace oneself and the aging process.” With an unflinching eye and a light and loving touch, she reveals the humour as well as the heartbreak in this journey we are all embarked on, taking the reader from poignant personal stories of relatives and friends to the latest research into the mental, emotional, and physical aspects of aging and back to the personal in a seamless, inclusive sweep. Everyone who picks up this book will benefit from Hinchliff’s honesty and generosity in dealing with so many urgent subjects we all tend to avoid.
—Murray Reiss, author of The Survival Rate of Butterflies in the Wild and Cemetery Compost
Helen hits the nail on the head with every piece she writes! This business of aging is a shared phenomenon and Helen helps it to feel ordinary and less frightening with stories from her own experience.
—Barb Aust, B.Ed., M.Ed., former seniors’ facility chairperson
Helen Hinchliff goes where angels can’t wait to tread and a lot of us don’t want to, writing with insight, compassion, candour, wit, and—yes—grace. On the front lines indeed: she’s a Martha Gellhorn for our age. I hope this book goes viral!
—Michael Butler, screenwriter and septuagenarian
Aging With Grace: Dispatches from the Front Lines is an eloquent, witty, clear-eyed commentary on how to grow old with all that the word “grace” implies. Helen Hinchliff has distilled her own intense and generous life experience into a collection of stories that both chronicle and celebrate the arduous process of ageing. Her book is an inspirational companion for all of us as we go down that inevitable road.
—Derek Lundy, Author of Borderlands: Riding the Edge of America
I have seen firsthand the struggles our most vulnerable seniors experience in the last stage of life and many have told me they would have preferred to stay in their own home if they’d been able. Toward that end, I think the advice and support Helen Hinchliff provides will be a valuable service to seniors in our community.
—Paul Oliphant, Executive Director (retired), Greenwoods Eldercare Society
Reading about growing older from Helen’s point of view is a lot of fun.
—Catherine “Kit” Lewis, age ninety-two, Meadowbrook resident
Helen addresses medical issues from her own experience in a way my patients can relate to. I always enjoy reading her column and I’m grateful for what she does.
—Ron Reznick, M.D.
I always look forward to reading Helen’s columns in the Driftwood, because they are unfailingly informative and entertaining in equal measure.
—Rosamund Dupuy, artist and admirer from a distance
Whenever Helen writes a column for the Driftwood, it’s what I always read first and it’s usually what I think about most. Her unique blend of humour and insight as she discusses the foibles, fears, and fantasies of old age repeatedly provides us all with insightful shocks of recognition –“Hey! That’s us! We did that too.”
—Stan Shapiro, steadily aging Salt Spring Island volunteer
When Helen visited her husband at the extended care unit of Lady Minto Hospital, she was more than a wife and caregiver, she interacted with all of the residents, getting to know each of them through singing. I worked there for twenty-three years and thought I understood the challenges of our aging residents, but Helen’s column provides me with new insights, especially as I grow older myself. She hits the nail on the head every time. I admire her authenticity.
—Terry Simard, former activities coordinator, Lady Minto Hospital
Helen's playful perspective makes her prose perfect for dealing with Life's challenging pathways. Read her, and smile!
—Yantara, while looking at Mt. Maxwell shining gold in morning splendour