Winner of the Norman L. and Roselea J. Goldberg Prize from Vanderbilt University Press.
“Verdict: The audience for this must-read book is boomers—and everyone else.” Cynthia Fox, Library Journal Xpress Reviews
"Beth Baker courageously and empathetically asks the question many Baby Boomers avoid: How will we make it through our aging years with dignity, independence and pleasure? The answers she receives from folks around the US, straight and LGBT, reassure us that there are already promising paths being carved."
-----Michele Kort, Senior Editor, Ms. Magazine
"Every Baby Boomer who wants to 'age in place' should read this book. So should their children."
-----Howard Gleckman, author of Caring for Our Parents
"This book is an invaluable resource....It covers these alternatives in clear, welcoming, and supportive language."
-----Richard Zimmer, Anthropology & Aging
Beth Baker is a long-time freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers, among them the Washington Post, Politico, Washingtonian, Ms., Preservation, CQ Researcher, Kaiser Health News, and the online sites Next Avenue and Changing Aging. She has written extensively on medical research and aging issues for the AARP Bulletin and was a frequent contributor to the Washington Post Health section. She is the Features Editor of BioScience, the journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, where she is also a frequent contributor.
Her nonfiction books on aging include With a Little Help from Our Friends--Creating Community as We Grow Older (Vanderbilt University Press 2014) and Old Age in a New Age--The Promise of Transformative Nursing Homes (Vanderbilt University Press 2007). Both books tell the story of grassroots efforts to transform the experience of aging.
Her biography for young people, Sylvia Earle: Guardian of the Sea (Lerner Publishing 2001), was chosen for Bank Street College Best Children’s Books of the Year, 2002, and was designated an Honor Book by the Society of School Librarians International. The book was reissued in 2006 for older youth, through the publisher's Just the Facts series.
She has spoken widely on aging-related topics, from keynote speaking at conferences to book club and library gatherings. She has also been a guest on radio programs across the nation.
Beth has been both a participant and a speaker at fellowships offered by the National Press Foundation. Among the honors she has received for feature writing are a 2004 Media Fellowship, presented by Case Western Reserve University, for a program on “The Golden Years: How Will We Care for Our Elderly?”; the Gold Award by the 1998 and 2006 National Mature Media Awards; and first place for best feature writing by the Cooperative Communicators Association in 1992, for a story on how a hazardous waste site divided a rural community.
Through the Washington Ethical Society, Beth was the producer and interviewer for a documentary video, Coming of Age--the Path to Adulthood, which won a Gold Award in 2004 by the Aurora Awards, an international competition honoring excellence in film and video. She also has initiated an ongoing discussion group for older adults at the Washington Ethical Society, focused on the theme of "Aging with Intention."
Before becoming a writer and editor, she was a dialysis technician, hospital ward clerk, assembly line worker, secretary, and peace activist.
She has also been a hospice volunteer and a family caregiver. She and her husband live in a close-knit community in Takoma Park, Maryland, and have two grown children and a granddaughter.