Smoothly written, inspiring guide reminds us that it's never too late to live a positive and purposeful life.


Ramona Oliver

Inclined Elders: How to Rebrand Aging for Self and Society

Softcover (also available as an ebook), 978-1-09831-178-0, 246 pages, $14.99

July 24, 2020


If you’re now a senior citizen, you may be feeling grateful that you’re living a long and fruitful life. At the same time, you may be hearing two famous country crooners, Ernest Tubb and Red Foley, repeatedly singing in your head about being “too old to cut the mustard anymore.”


Rather than giving in to those weary lyrics and plopping down in a rocking chair, you can choose to move forward with new determination and purpose. You, too, can become an “Inclined Elder.”


It’s an odd term at first glance, but Austin writer Ramona Oliver quickly clarifies that Inclined Elders “are the women and men who have made a conscious choice to ignore society’s negative mindset of ‘decline’ and ‘over-the-hill' as we age. We embrace a positive mindset of Inclining: ready, able, and willing to continue living a life of achievement, meaning, and purpose.”


This smoothly written, inspiring guide to becoming “inclined” comes at a time when lifespans are increasing, and many people are remaining reasonably healthy and active into their seventies, eighties, and nineties. Inclined Elders, Ramona Oliver points out, put their time, experience, knowledge, and vitality to use in numerous ways, including launching small businesses, pursuing graduate degrees, traveling and exploring, taking lifelong learning classes, volunteering, providing quality care for their grandchildren, becoming motivational speakers or political candidates, and much more.


For much of her work life, Ramona Oliver has pursued opportunities to help people with personal growth matters through her roles in human resources, career counseling, and university outreach programs. Now in her seventies, writing books has become part of her “inclined” life. For Inclined Elders, she interviewed more than 50 active people representing an age range of 40 to 100 for examples of inclined living and has pulled relevant information from numerous secondary sources, including books, articles, and research studies.


“While so many other societies continue to venerate their elders despite cultural challenges,” she emphasizes, “Western society is a youth-centric culture that generally denigrates elders and looks negatively upon the entire concept of aging.”


Her book is organized into three parts that spotlight attitude, growth, and empowerment. The first part focuses on what you can change within yourself to lead “a more inclined life.” The second explores how to “interact effectively with the external world” as you become actively Inclined. And the third looks at “the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in gaining control over your own life.”


One very important goal for Inclined Elders, Ramona Oliver contends, is to serve as “positive older role models” for people who currently have negative feelings towards aging. “We can,” she states, “become an inspiring example so our society relinquishes the notion that aging is synonymous with ‘decline,’ ‘decrepit,’ ‘senile,’ and ‘over-the-hill' once and for all.”


You do not have to be an “elder” to benefit from learning how to “incline” in this book. Adults of all ages likely can find ideas, motivation methods, and techniques helpful toward leading more positive and purposeful lives.

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