Senior citizens are a growing population sector all over the world, and products and services designed for seniors and “pre-seniors” are big business as a result. Pre-Senior/Senior Survival Guide reaches out to that market, with limited success.
Author George Konar describes the book as a reference work, but it doesn’t conform to the genre in any tangible way. Instead of a step-by-step guide to making the most of this time of life, as one might expect from the title, it’s a random-feeling series of bullet-pointed lists, brief observations and a few thought exercises that don’t feel tied to a central theme. For example, a two-page chapter discussing Mother’s Day and suggesting gifts beyond a Sunday brunch is followed by a page listing characteristics of a “Depression Mentality” (financial, not emotional) and two pages about “Entitlements” that takes a conservative view of earned privileges versus handouts. If there’s a larger organizing principle at work, it’s not immediately evident.
The writing often meanders, as in: “You may or may not have ever been recognized that you were, in fact, a role model, although you, as life’s participant, most likely have been.” And the text is in need of editing to correct grammatical and punctuation errors, as illustrated by this sentence fragment in a passage about volunteering: “Often, your skills and ambition are recognized by others and recruitment for additional time and responsibility within your selected organization.”
There are many approaches one could take to a guide for pre-seniors and seniors that would prove invaluable to readers: Listing national resources, sharing self-care and social connection tips, even scaling meals down to cook for one or two would be valuable aids to those getting older. This guide was clearly offered with good intentions, but it needs a much clearer mission. As it stands, the lack of focus makes this a challenging and confusing read.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.