Cecelia Hurwich, 92, is a woman who fully embodies the cause she so passionately advocates: Vitality in Aging.
Few people in this world practice what they preach. But in the field of aging there is at least one extraordinary exception, a woman who states, “We can deliberately create the conditions we need to maintain our health and well-being.” She exercises regularly, has an active work schedule, guards her nutrition, enjoys friends of all ages, and stays spiritually healthy. Her book, 92 and Dancing, inspires women to look forward to the rewards of aging.
Learning Through Research
In her 50s Hurwich began to face the prospect of old age. She responded by examining the lives of women who enjoy their later years. Her quest led her to graduate school at Antioch University West for her Masters Degree. She was awarded a Ph.D. at age 70 from the Center for Psychological Studies in Berkeley, California. Her research, Vital Women in Their 70s, 80s, and 90s: A 10-Year Longitudinal Study, focuses on the unique benefits and rewards of aging. She discovered that older women who enjoy life share five key characteristics: 1) Experience life as meaningful 2) Optimism 3) Friends of all ages 4) Continue to grow 5) Remain physically active. These findings are at the heart of the message she brings to readers of her book, Vitality in Aging.
A Meaningful Life
As Hurwich struggled in her 80s with challenges of aging and the loss of loved ones, it became clear that it was time to make a change by following the lessons she learned from the women in her studies. Each woman had resisted the narrowing of her social world despite physical challenges. They focused instead on the activities they could still participate in that gave their lives meaning and pleasure.
Continue to Grow
“What is it that gives my life a sense of balance and wholeness? What are the passions that keep me going?” Hurwich finds meaning by striving to leave the world a better place and inspiring others about the enriching experience of aging. Liberal politics, senior issues, health advocacy, and above all, preserving the environment have been the passions at the center of her activism.
The Core of Spirituality
Spirituality and nature are closely connected to her life. She reflects, “My sense of myself as a spiritual being, which I feel so keenly in the outdoors, ignited my political consciousness when I discovered that much of the natural world was being destroyed. I became, and continue to, be a dedicated environmentalist fighting for the health of the planet and health of individuals. Preserving the wilderness is, after all, self preservation.” Cecelia Hurwich, with the support of her loving partner, is living proof of her declaration, “Life can grow richer and fuller for those in their 70s, 80s, and 90s.”
92 and Dancing brings hope and confidence to women of all ages.
Cecelia Hurwich, psychologist, gerontologist, writer and environmentalist inspires women all over the world on healthy aging, physical activity and the healing powers of nature. Interweaving her true life stories with her groundbreaking 10 year longitudinal research titled Vital women in Their 70’s 80’s and 90’s, she shows us the unique benefits and rewards of aging.