How to Age Joyfully

Book review by Bridget Osborne

July 2019

How to Age Joyfully: Eight Steps to a Happier, Fuller Life by Maggy Pigott

We’re living longer; we need to take charge of our own well-being in our third age says Maggy Pigott. In July 2019 she launched her book How to Age Joyfully and within a couple of weeks it was ranked 15 in the Amazon Best Sellers for books about ageing. Her book was also one of the online distributor’s ‘hot new releases’.

How to Age Joyfully is a practical guide in how to do just that. In one way it’s a statement of the bleedin’ obvious – keep active, eat healthily, stay fit – but in other ways it’s quite revelatory, her ‘eight steps’ set out in short, dense chapters, packed full of practical ideas and useful information, meticulously researched.

Her main message – ‘We’re living longer – let’s live better!’ is delivered with the fervour of a convert rather than the patronizing tones of a young, fit person imparting knowledge to those hopeless saps over 60 who know no better, to whom you have to speak slowly in words of one syllable. Maggy has had a career as a high powered civil servant and thought her enjoyment of life was over when a debilitating illness forced her to give up work. Her route back to physical fitness and mental wellbeing has been through dance.

Photographs above: Maggy Pigott; Maggy taking part in a dance performance; at her book launch 11 July

Her missionary zeal for living life to the full is infectious. Ageing, she says, has made her ‘bolder, not older’, which is how she came to approach Dame Judi Dench to write the foreword – now there’s a role model for old age if ever there was one. How to Age Joyfully has also received endorsements from Baroness Sally Greengross, former Director General of Age Concern, former Health Secretary Alan Johnson, and writer and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth.

Maggy goes dancing several times a week and much of the rest of her time is taken up with Open Age, a charity which champions an active life for older people. They provide a wide range of physical, creative and mentally stimulating activities to enable ‘older people’ (over 50) to develop new skills, fulfill their potential and make new friends. Maggy is donating half her royalties to the charity.

How to Age Joyfully: Eight Steps to a Happier, Fuller Life was published on 11 July 2019 by Summersdale Publishers Ltd.

How To Age Joyfully