PLEDGE NOW
Oliver Sacks On Growing Older

Best-selling author Oliver Sacks tell us why he’s delighted to turn 80, and finds joy in growing older.

Oliver Sacks (Elena Seibert)

Oliver Sacks (Elena Seibert)

“What a drag it is getting old,” sang the Rolling Stones, back in the day.  Oliver Sacks begs to differ.

The best-selling neurologist-author turned 80 last week.  And he’s loving it.  More leisure.  More freedom.  Freedom of time.  Freedom of mind, heart, soul.

He can’t lift 600 pounds anymore, the way he did as a young body-builder in California.  And he knows death comes closer, of course.  But old age has not turned out grim for this famed thinker and writer.  It’s fun.

This hour, On Point:  Oliver Sacks on the joy of old age.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Oliver Sacks, physician and best-selling author. Professor of neurology at the NYU School of Medicine. His op-ed in the New York Times is “The Joy of Old Age. (No Kidding.)” His book “Hallucinations” was just released in paperback. (@oliversacks)

Louise Aronson, professor of geriatrics at University of California, San Francisco, where she directs the Northern California Geriatric Education Center. (@louisearonson)

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times: The Joy of Old Age. (No Kidding.) — “Eighty! I can hardly believe it. I often feel that life is about to begin, only to realize it is almost over. My mother was the 16th of 18 children; I was the youngest of her four sons, and almost the youngest of the vast cousinhood on her side of the family. I was always the youngest boy in my class at high school. I have retained this feeling of being the youngest, even though now I am almost the oldest person I know.”

Smithsonian: Being a lifelong bookworm may keep you sharp in old age — “To keep their bodies running at peak performance, people often hit the gym, pounding away at the treadmill to strengthen muscles and build endurance. This dedication has enormous benefitsbeing in shape now means warding off a host of diseases when you get older. But does the brain work in the same way? That is, can doing mental exercises help your mind stay just as sharp in old age?”

 

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Feb 10, 2016
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., waves to the crowd before speaking during a primary night watch party at Concord High School, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The winners and losers in New Hampshire, and the path ahead in the presidential primary race.

Feb 10, 2016
In this Feb. 1, 2016 photo, a technician from the British biotec company Oxitec, inspects the pupae of genetically modified Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, a vector for transmitting the Zika virus, in Campinas, Brazil. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Taking on the Zika virus, from tackling the disease itself, to killing the mosquitoes that carry it to the challenge of birth control.

RECENT
SHOWS
Feb 9, 2016
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop at a Rotary Club luncheon in Manchester, N.H., Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

From New Hampshire, a deep dive, from Trump to Sanders, on how the candidates would approach the U.S. economy.

 
Feb 9, 2016
Host Tom Ashbrook and producer Sarah Platt speak to supporters of Republican Sen. Marco Rubio (FL) outside the candidate's Manchester, N.H. campaign headquarters on Monday, February 8, 2016. (Katherine Brewer / WBUR)

We’re live in New Hampshire for the first in the nation primary day, with all the latest on how the big vote is shaping up.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Tom Ashbrook’s Note From New Hampshire
Tuesday, Feb 9, 2016

Fresh off the New Hampshire Presidential Primary results, host Tom Ashbrook reflects on his trip to New Hampshire, and on what comes next in the race to the White House.

More »
Comment
 
Notes From New Hampshire, #6: Bernie v. Hillary — The Electability Debate
Monday, Feb 8, 2016

Bill and Betty are not real New Hampshire voters. But their arguments about the Democratic race for President most certainly are.

More »
Comment
 
Notes From New Hampshire, #5: Ted Cruz — The Advocate
Monday, Feb 8, 2016

Texas Senator and Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz is an impassioned advocate, Jack Beatty writes — but mostly for himself above all others.

More »
Comment