Society is changing faster than policies and attitudes are keeping up with. People are living longer, retiring from work later, and remaining active and valuable contributors to the community well into and beyond their 50s and 60s.
Peak: Reinventing Middle Age focuses on Australians in the 50–75 age bracket: their contributions to society and their needs and expectations for their own lives. It is an insightful look at employment, relationships, education, housing, finances, lifestyles, health and aged care, and the need for reinvention both on a personal level and in terms of social policy.
It includes ten short biographies of Australians who have embraced their middle age in a variety of interesting and inspirational ways. They are living fulfilled lives, contributing to their communities and, most importantly, not succumbing to outdated notions of winding down or stepping back from life in this exciting stage of life.
Patricia Edgar is a sociologist, educator, film and television producer, writer, researcher and policy analyst. Through a career spanning four decades she has been at the forefront of media for children nationally and internationally, winning multiple awards for her achievements and programs.
Don Edgar is one of Australia's best-known authorities on social trends as they affect families, communities and the workplace. He was the Foundation Director of the Australian Institute of Family Studies, which became one of Australia's pre-eminent research institutes in family law, social security, work-family programs, youth and family support services, child protection, child poverty, child care, ageing and the work/family balance.
Our middle age years are our peak years, not a decline towards a wretched old age.
Over the last century medical science has given us an extra twenty-five years of life and it is predicted our longevity will continue to steadily increase. This is cause for celebration, but the implications of this demographic shift are profound and one of the biggest challenges we face this century.
'A thought-provoking, affirming look at the years ahead, and how society might meaningfully restructure to accommodate ageing Baby Boomers.' Books + Publishing
'Patricia is a sort of centurion in her abilities to kick down doors and push walls over...she gets things done.' Phillip Adams
'With its inspirational case studies and emphasis on new opportunities, Peak is both a handbook for reinvention and an analysis of our changing understanding of this phase of life.' Age
'A thoughtful and challenging study.' GP Speak
'Part pep talk, part revolutionary pamphlet, the Edgars' book is a quick and informative read on a subject that will engross more and more of the population.' Inside Story
'Patricia and Don Edgar bring a lifetime of experience, expertise, and wisdom to this authoritative and thought-provoking book. In the questions it asks and ideas it canvasses about how we lead our lives, this is a book for people of all the ages.' Australian Book Review
'The Edgars paint an encouraging picture of satisfying middle age' ANZ Lit Lovers