Aging with Grace: Joy in Aging Series Video

Sharon of KRON Channel 4 speaks with licensed psychotherapist and AgeSong co-founder, Dr Nader Shabahangi about shifting our perception and looking at aging as a positive thing.

Sharon mentions the numerous books that Nader has written about aging that outline his philosophy on aging. Some books that are presented as examples are Faces of Aging, Conversations with Ed, and Deeper into the Soul. They are all age embracing books.

Sharon starts of the discussion with a comparison between what is considered “normal” in terms of success in aging and an alternate view presented in Nader’s books. She mentions how successful you are is often measured in how fast you get something done, how beautiful you are, and how many things you can multi-task. She points out that there is a big departure from thinking of yourself like that and looking at yourself from Nader’s perspective. Nader agrees that there is currently a movement that judges your success in aging at 50, 60, 70, 80 in terms of values of twenty and thirty something individuals and we need to stop doing that. In this perspective you are set up for failure.

Sharon suggest that promoting a different value system for aging is one of the reasons why Nader has created AgeSong. To provide an environment where it is safe to age, safe to have a different value system than what you see everyday. Nader agrees with that and expands upon the idea that from elders we learn that we can go more slowly, to look more deeply, and how to be with someone instead of looking to the next thing. Nader mentions that the elders are always teaching him the importance of learning to live in the moment.

Find out More!

Explore Nader Shabahangi’s publications on Aging and Forgetfulness on the Elders Academy Press website.
View more of the Joy in Aging Series videos.

Explore more videos in the AgeSong Video Library

Deeper into the Soul Back in Stock(Paperback)

More Deeper into the Soul: Beyond Dementia and Alzheimer’s Toward Forgetfulness Care

Elders Academy Press is excited to announce that Deeper into the Soul is Back in Stock.

deeper_cover202Deeper into the Soul: Beyond Dementia and Alzheimer’s Towards Forgetfulness Care
by Nader Robert Shabahangi, Ph.D. & Bogna Szymkiewicz, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2008)
124 pages; $13.95-Softcover: Back in Stock!, plus shipping & handling;
or $9.95 eBook – Epub & Mobi

OrderOrder ebook

“If you are a researcher, a hospital worker, a teacher, a caregiver, this book belongs on your desk or at your bedside. Deeper into the Soul will push you further than you meant to go, surprising you into a smile of pleasure, a buzz of new learning, a challenge to your usual interpretation of meaning. Best of all, it will engage and enlarge your heart.”

~Elizabeth Bugental, Psychotherapist and Author of AgeSong: Meditations for Later Years

This book is a practical guide for people who work and live with relatives or residents with symptoms of forgetfulness. The authors offer ideas and tips dealing with symptoms such as aggression and wandering, but they also explore a new way of understanding the people for whom we care. They ask the basic existential questions: What are the possible meanings of forgetfulness? What purpose does it serve for both caregiver and the one experiencing forgetfulness?

Read More on the Elders Academy Press website.


A Review of “Deeper into the Soul” by Tru

[*Updated on Feb 26 to include current book availability]

Book cover of Deeper into the Soul by Nader Robert Shabahangi & Bogna Szymkiewicz

Those who work in assisted living are finally listening to the message that Nader Shabahangi has been spreading for years – the value of slowing down and learning from elders.  Following is a review of  “Deeper into the Soul,” a charming book that explains this belief system through different perspectives. It can take a lifetime to really absorb and apply this philosophy and belief system.  It’s worth it.

This review comes from Truthful as posted in August of 2014, on her wonderful blog Truthful Kindness:

Tru here. I deeply appreciated the book “Deeper into the Soul: Beyond Dementia and Alzheimer’s Toward Forgetfulness Care” by Nader Robert Shabahangi PhD and Bogna Szymkiewicz PhD.

Some excerpts from introduction are quoted below:
“In this book we highlight a basic attitudinal shift:

  • Dementia is our teacher.
  • Rather than simply a disease, dementia has purpose and meaning.
  • Rather than being people simply in need of our care, people who forget can teach us about life and living.
  • Rather than a burden, people with dementia offer us an opportunity to deepen ourselves, to go deeper into our souls.” …

And later: “Being with forgetfulness indeed takes us deeper into the soul.  Whether we experience forgetting in others or glimpse it in little moments within ourselves, forgetfulness offers us a gift, if only we are capable of seeing it as such.  Perhaps loss is always a gateway to the real gains …”

And last but not least, this excerpt; “For those who can truly lay aside their aversion or discomfort and learn to accept what is, the gifts of the soul await; equanimity, intimacy with the dream-world and its magical ways, slowing down to the speed of soul essence.”

It took several tries for me to understand the text of this book, but even on the first try I could understand the brief blurb-balloons for the cartoon explanations that go with each page. VERY much appreciated the positive perspective offered by this book. Publisher still has it available $14 (softcover) and $20 (hardcover).

Tru Blog Review of Book “Deeper Into the Soul by Nader Shabahangi and  Bogna Szymkiewicz POSTED ON

Deeper into the Soul Books

Deeper into the Soul is currently available in both hardcover and ebook from Elders Academy Press.
Deeper into the Soul paperback is currently out of stock. Elders Academy Press expects to have it back in stock in April, 2016.

Related Post:

Featured Book | Deeper into the Soul Now Available as an eBook


Book Review: A Sage, a Psycholgist, a Physician, and an Intern Guide Us Deeper into the Soul


Deeper into the Soul:  Beyond Dementia and Alzheimer’s Toward Forgetfulness Care, by Nader Robert Shabahangi, Ph.D. and Bogna Szymkiewiecz, Ph.D.,  shifts our attitude about Dementia. Rather than looking upon Dementia as a disease, we find that people with Dementia can teach us about life and living, and give us an opportunity to go deeper into our souls. We move from the medical terms “Dementia” and “Alzheimer’s” to “forgetfulness.”

Our guides through this attitudinal shift, artfully designed by Piotr Orlik,  are four characters, a sage, a psychologist, a physician, and an intern, artfully portrayed in cartoon characters.  Each presents a different perspective. For example, when the intern says, “So many people her seem to be confused or lost…How can we help them?,” the sage replies, “…there is nothing wrong with people who forget what we think is worth remembering.  Be curious about what you don’t understand.  They live in different realities and thus they have much to teach us!”

The word “dementia,” as explained by the psychologist, means “away from mind.”  The sage replied, “Once a person with ‘dementia’ told me that when the mind goes away, the soul is released.”  The physician gives practical advice to create the atmosphere of being with a person who forgets.  She suggests, “Approach a person from the front, so that she can see you, move slowly when you are clost, assume an equal or lower position, state your name.” When approaching a person with forgetfulness, the sage suggests, “Approach the person with forgetfulness as if you were just about to enter the unknown, a sacred space.  Communication is not only about content.  It is also – sometimes most of all – about feelings.”

Each page of the book opens a new way of looking at forgetfulness. For example, if a person with forgetfulness seems to be always looking for food, the doctor suggests, “provide fruits or raw vegetables.”  The authors did not go further into the topic of eating, but in a future exploration of this topic, they  might look into whether the desire to eat represents some under underlying emotional or sensory desire (i.e., for companionship, touch, love).

The authors point out the attitudinal shift of Robert Butler, pioneer reminiscence therapist, who recalls that tin the 1950s, “living in the past” was seen as a symptom of senility, “as one of the signs of living a meaningless life.”  He states, “Far from living in the past or exhibiting ‘wandering of the mind,’ as was commonly thought, older people are engaged in the important psychological tasks of making sense of the lives they had lived.” In this section, and throughout the book, goals and assumptions, techniques, and characteristics of the therapy are described.

Over six pages of bibliography are provided for further research into the topics of dementia, alzheimer’s,  and forgetfulness. Less than 130 pages, and presented in a clear, inviting format, this book is a must for family members who have a loved one with forgetfulness, as well as researchers, hospital workers, professional healthcare providers, interns, and teachers.

Deeper in the soul:  Beyond dementia and Alzheimer’s Toward Forgetfulness Care is published by Elders Academy Press,

Dr. Sally Gelardin, AgeSong Today Journalist