That Wasn't A White Hair, Was It?
We're so afraid of aging that we begin to devalue ourselves and others with each passing year. The phrase "30 years old" incites panic. Seniors live in separate communities and barely interact with young people, while middle-aged people spend millions each year on anti-aging products.
But what if we have it all wrong? Isabel Tom grew up living with grandparents and has spent over a decade of her career serving older adults. In The Value of Wrinkles she:
Praise for The Value of Wrinkles
"Aging is challenging. As the number of candles on my birthday cake increases to the size of a bonfire, and the woman I see in the mirror reflects my advancing years, I hope to be treated with the respect Isabel Tom gives her aging charges. The Value of Wrinkles is an encouraging look at how we can honor and respect those who are in the final third of their lives. Her stories of Mama and YeYe are heartwarming and real. This isn't a boring how-to book, but rather a story of how the elderly can enrich our lives."
Author of The Caregiving Season: Finding Grace to Honor Your Aging Parent and Because of Grace: A Mother's Journey from Grief to Hope
"The Value of Wrinkles is a welcome cultural corrective for our youth-obsessed society. Isabel shows us how friendships dissolve the confines of loneliness and depression to brighten the lives of young and old alike."
—IRA BYOCK, MD
Author of Dying Well and The Best Care Possible
Founder of the Institute for Human Caring, Providence St. Joseph Health
"If you struggle with how to love the older person in your life, The Value of Wrinkles is the perfect place to start. Isabel's words are fun, convicting, and practical all at the same time. Recommended reading for grandchildren and adult children alike."
Executive Director at Arbor Terrace Fulton
"What a refreshing and compassionate look at the dignity of being old. The Value of Wrinkles brilliantly exposes the stereotypical bias of ageism that dominates our current culture. Very well done and a worthwhile read."
—JOHN C. ERICKSON
Founder of Erickson Living
"So as not to have the regret "not having spent enough time with" or "not having said the things I should have" to your loving elders, read this book and follow the practical, heartfelt advice. A beautifully written, precise account from personal experiences with a humbling approach. A delight to read and a must for everyone."
—SHAHID AZIZ, MD, FAAP
Author, Courageous Conversations on Dying: The Gift of Palliative Care
"Sometimes we have to admit to ourselves we don't know everything. And this is especially true with aging since most of us haven't gotten there yet. Isabel's book is a powerful reminder that we all can benefit from having an older person in our lives."
—GEOFF COLEMAN, MD, MHA
Chief Medical Officer at Montgomery Hospice
"With her unique perspective as a young professional with an "old soul," Isabel Tom shares her wisdom about aging persons and helps the reader see clearly how their strengths and challenges can be the foundation for mutually rewarding intergenerational relationships. Her practical guide combines an interdisciplinary approach with a deeply spiritual love of the aging to describe a world I want to grow old in."
—JUDAH L. RONCH, PHD
Professor and former dean, The Erickson School, UMBC
Coeditor, Culture Change in Elder Care and Models and Pathways for Person Centered Elder Care
"The author is very astute in making connections between the stories she tells about living with older grandparents and the ways that we can gain new perspectives and strengthen our relationships with the older adults in our lives. I can see The Value of Wrinkles being useful for healthcare professionals and those who serve older adults as they try to examine their own thoughts and feelings about aging. I can also see how it could help medical and nursing students who may be working with older adults in clinical settings to be more aware of the wisdom, humor, and relationship that older adults continue to offer to those who listen. This book would be a useful companion for courses specific to aging, whether in social science, healthcare, or other related fields."
—BEVERLY K. LUNSFORD, PHD, RN, FAAN
Assistant Professor at GW School of Nursing
Codirector of the GW Center for Aging, Health and Humanities
"Heartwarming, honest, and very compelling. A great read and one that reminds me throughout why some of us have committed our careers to the service of elders. I would say that elders are the largest repository of accumulated wisdom—in the form of walking, talking people—that is currently available to us in the world."
—KEVIN D. HEFFNER, MAGS
President of LifeSpan Network
"A must-read book for every millennial (or I might say every person under the age of 40). This book beautifully celebrates our elderly with dignity and respect. It is funny, honest, heartfelt, and most of all, honors a generation that has given us all we are proud of in this country."
—ROBERT VAN DYK
President/CEO, Van Dyk Health Care
"Isabel has a unique, infectious, and compassionate perspective on growing older. Value of Wrinkles has left me awestruck! She has this incredible ability to leave the reader at peace with gaining wrinkles, serving those with wrinkles, and tapping into the older community as an essential source of experience and wisdom. Our society needs more people like Isabel Tom."
—LINNÉA BYERS, 35
This book brings to life some beautiful insights into how we can care for and interact with our older adult community. Isabel's personal stories are super relatable and made it very easy to read!
—CRYSTAL MAK, 24
"The Value of Wrinkles challenged me to see older relatives not just as people you "have to" visit but as treasure troves of wisdom and stories. This book tugged at my heart strings as it brought back tender memories of my grandparents. I wish I read this book while they were still around so I could have made more of the time I had with them."
—ANGELO CAPILI, 44