Women, We're Only Old Once


Non-Fiction - Womens
256 Pages
Reviewed on 02/24/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite

Women, We're Only Old Once by Bertha D. Cooper is the ultimate self-help guide to growing old gracefully. In this wonderfully dynamic book, the author throws out all the cliched ideas about what it means to grow old, replacing it with commonsense, inspirational ones that will help any woman not only embrace her age but become passionate about it--not run from it. Society, culture, and the media have influenced our ways of thinking when it comes to aging, but Cooper's book is a refreshing wake-up call to what it really means to age. I like what she says early in the book, and that is that we don't start aging at 40, 50, or 60--we start aging the moment we're born, and how we deal or don't deal with it depends on many factors. Accepting it gracefully and making the most of it seems to be the main thrust of the book, and is rounded out in a beautifully balanced way with sources, interviews, quotations, and more.

This isn't a book to make you feel down, it's actually very uplifting and validating. Besides the positive side, Cooper also delves into the harder parts of getting older--rites of passage we all go through if we're fortunate enough to live that long, like losing loved ones, how to deal with changes in body and mind, and illness, as well as what to do about the practical things in life, like preparations, paperwork, and important decisions. Women can be a tremendous support system for one another. Women, We're Only Old Once by Bertha D. Cooper should be your go-to resource for yourself or a friend if you want to make the most out of aging and make peace with it.

Edith Wairimu

With over fifty years of experience working as a nurse and health care administrator where she worked closely with older people, Bertha D Cooper discusses the intricacies of growing old as a woman. She draws from her professional and personal experience and points out facts and debunks myths associated with women and aging. Comprised of four parts, Women, We're Only Old Once discusses reasons for understanding and educating oneself on the aging process, healthy aging, aging as a woman in America, and the fourth part examines the lessons and purposes of life at this stage including specific aspects such as spirituality. The work is a wide exploration of various significant components that make up each chapter including health, beauty, work, societal attitudes towards the elderly, relationships, and more.

Women, We're Only Old Once by Bertha D Cooper examines and offers solutions for different issues that women face during their old age. It does not avoid difficult topics including illnesses such as dementia or beauty concerns that women consider. It focuses on the facts in each section but its messages also remain encouraging. The discussions show that aging is a stage of life that can be navigated successfully and that can be fulfilling. I loved that its pages are dotted with numerous remarks, perspectives, and life stories from women from different cultural, religious, and professional backgrounds. Their contributions are insightful and enlightening. Cooper’s experience is also evident throughout the book. Women, We're Only Old Once is an important work that every woman, regardless of their age, will find useful. The book achieves its purpose of informing and encouraging the reader.

Joanie Chevalier

I have a one-word description after reading Women, We’re Only Old Once! by Bertha D. Cooper…Wowza! Bertha knows what she’s talking about here, being a woman in her 70's herself. As I read, I pictured Bertha sitting beside me, bestowing her wisdom, practical advice, and research. I felt she truly cared about me and my health, in body and mind. The day after I finished the book, I drove straight to the drugstore and purchased a B12 supplement. Bertha’s advice isn’t only on health issues, she also touches on sexuality, mental fitness, spirituality, losses, etc. Her words are memorable: “Embrace growing old,” “Aging is not a disease,” “It’s never too late!” Women, We’re Only Old Once! is one book every woman should have on her bookshelf.

Women, We’re Only Old Once! by Bertha D. Cooper is a wonderful reference for all women at any age. I learned a few tips on my first read-through, and I’m sure I will get more when I read it a second time. Several things resonated with me in this book. Bertha says, “Relationship management to a certain extent is a measure of maturity.” In other words, give yourself permission to cull your friend/family list. If it doesn’t feel good, let it go. I loved all the notes at the end of the book and the references too, for further exploration. Bertha’s research, interviews, and the sharing of experts’ advice shine through. I highly recommend Women, We’re Only Old Once! Remember, it’s never too late… to start good habits, to get involved, and to embrace growing old!