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Silver Shades of Grey: Memos for Successful Ageing in the 21st Century

by Kanwaljit Soin Ws Professional
Pub Date:
Pbk 292 pages
AU$49.99 NZ$52.17
Product Status: In Stock Now
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Are you a young person? Middle-aged? Old? It doesn't really matter. Each of us grows older every second. Most of us age without taking charge of our life course, without a plan for our ageing. This book offers some operating instructions for life, a guide to engaging passionately with age!


Dealing with a plethora of subjects, such as health, happiness, loneliness, dementia, sex, gender, marriage, abuse, respect, wage, wealth, class, and care, the book touches on how ageing affects us as individuals and as a society.


It explores a few of the mysteries and miracles of life, and some of its myths. It encourages us to cope creatively with the mundaneness of our continuing life.


The author invites you to join her as she delves into these questions about life and ageing with curiosity and contemplation, and with a sense of awe and adventure.


Readership: General Public.
"Dr Kanwaljit Soin has produced a highly engaging, readable, and informative book on the subject of ageing. It is written for all genders to help the reader understand and embrace the inevitable ageing process. With her medical background, she explains simply and clearly, sometimes with a touch of wit, issues of ageing that have troubled us and have no one to ask. The book is also for researchers in universities and research centres who work on the subject because it is rich in medical information, social analyses and public policy discussion."

Professor Chan Heng Chee

Chairman, Lee Kuan Yew Center for Innovative Cities

Singapore University of Technology and Design


"Dr Soin has given so many golden nuggets of her experiences on healthy living and ageing well. I am sure many will find much truth and emulate and gain confidence in themselves to be able to function well as senior members of society and be a joy to their families and friends"

Mrs Dorothy Chan

Executive Director, Far East Organization


"How do we prepare for a life we haven't lived? If indeed forewarned is forearmed, this book is a must read. It's informative, holistic and enlightening. A positive endorsement that 'ageing' can be enjoyable."

Ms Patricia Chan

Swimming's Pioneer Golden Girl and Women's Hall of Fame & Sports Hall of Fame


"Dr Kanwaljit Soin is a Woman for All Ages. She is compassionate, inclusive and clear-eyed about problems that face us; a doer, not an arm-chair theorist; a tireless champion of the underdog. Above all, she celebrates life in all its complexity. Any book by her will be engaging, exhilarating and, above all, life-enhancing."

Dr Geh Min

Environmentalist and former Nominated Member of Parliament (Jan 2005–Apr 2006)


"This book is literally everything you ever wanted to know about growing old. But Dr Soin does not bore you to old age. Her message is optimistic and hopeful: Don't be afraid of growing old, and don't be afraid of other people growing old. But, first, you need to read this book."

Mr Han Fook Kwang

Editor-At-Large, The Straits Times and

Senior Fellow, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies


"This is a highly educational, fun and easy to read book on a subject that affects us all — getting older and ageing. Dr Soin brilliantly reveals the difference between our chronological, biological and psychological age, and how we can modify the ageing process to live in greater fitness and well-being. A must read for all ages and stages of life."

Dr Noeleen Heyzer

member of the United Nations Secretary-General's High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation


"Here is prose chiming with vitality and possibilities, clarity, wit and wisdom; its subject, the very thing that informs its brilliance. Dr Soin, the medical specialist AND activist are both true to form here. Her objective is clear. What is the use of knowledge if not to facilitate new ways of being?"

Ms Dana Lam

author of Days of Being Wild: Walking the Line with the Opposition


"With characteristic flair, Dr Kanwaljit Soin looks at a traditionally sensitive topic, ageing, from the widest possible range of perspectives, including the biological, psychological and sociocultural. To this vastness of scope, she brings an assured tone, moving easily from unflinching admonition to friendly advice, from earnest instruction to warm understanding and humour."

Dr Catherine Lim



"This brilliant, reassuring, simply-written book summarizes, 'all you need to know' about ageing from various perspectives — biological, psychological, medical, financial, individual, societal — drawing from the latest scientific and social-scientific research to suggest practicable actions that individuals, families and governments can take to realize the full potential of ageing populations."

Professor Linda Lim

Professor Emerita of Corporate Strategy and International Business

Stephen M Ross School of Business, University of Michigan


"Dr Soin is not only an expert on medical aspects of ageing, but she is a brilliant writer, whose stories and facts offer inspiration for the critical global issue of growing old. A must-read for old and young alike, since we are all heading in the same direction toward 'seniority'."

Professor Meg Lowman

Director of Global Initiatives

California Academy of Sciences, USA (www.canopymeg.com)


"Dr Kanwaljit Soin is absolutely right. Ageing is untraveled territory for humanity. For 99.9% of human history, we lived for only 30 to 40 years. Now many of us, if not most, will exceed 65 years. So how do we cope? In a small book filled with uncommon common sense and deep insights of wisdom, she has prepared an indispensable guide. It shines a valuable light on an untraveled path that most of humanity will now walk on. As I turn 70, I will heed her advice. I would strongly encourage you to do so too."

Professor Kishore Mahbubani

National University of Singapore and

the author of Can Asians Think?


"This vitally important and readable book is a timely contribution to issues of ageing. The author, Dr Kanwaljit Soin, examines all the complexities and contradictions of growing old and she does this by deftly blending history, culture, hard data, common sense advice and liberal doses of humour to keep the reader engaged in a subject that is not always entertaining nor appealing. That is a remarkable achievement."

Constance Singam

writer and social activist


"Silver Shades of Grey is an innovative book that addresses the many questions individuals and societies should ask about how we grow old. Dr Kanwaljit Soin nimbly combines scientific information with humanistic wisdom. The book is a lively, informative read that triggers deep reflections on what we can do to embrace our ageing society and harness this as a valuable asset rather than a liability. "

Professor Teo You Yenn

sociologist and author of This is What Inequality Looks Like


"This is a book you dip into. Each dip will reward you with a fistful of facts that are food for thought — about you and your ageing process, and about whether as a society we are doing enough to adjust to the reality of our greater longevity and extended vitality."

Ms Margaret Thomas

writer/editor and lifelong procrastinator who believes we should all procrastinate about ageing


"'We are only old once,' concludes Dr Kanwaljit Soin in this highly readable, informative, entertaining, and inspiring collection of memos on ageing. She describes the art and science of successful ageing, reminding us that, ultimately, ars moriendi (the art of dying) is really ars vivendi (the art of living). Wonderful reading for those who want to celebrate life at any age!"

Dr Astrid Tuminez

Regional Director, Corporate

External and Legal Affairs, Microsoft (Southeast Asia)


"Ageing is a multi-faceted process. This book covers a wide range of topics on ageing as part of an individual's life course and as part of the demographic transition taking place in many populations of the world. Drawing from some recent advancements in biological and medical sciences, social research findings and evidence-based practices of active and healthy ageing, Dr Soin has helped dispel myths and prejudices against ageing, advocated special attention to gender inequalities in ageing, and pointed to how individuals and policy-makers can harness the qualities of ageing for continuous human growth and social development. The text is peppered with wittiness and encouragement that nourishes the human spirit. The chapters are to be reflected upon and savoured, but not to be read in one single breath."

Dr Aline Wong

sociologist and former Minister of State for Health, Singapore


"Dr Kanwaljit Soin has written a treasure trove of information and insight on the topic and condition that escapes no individual or society — ageing. With big doses of science, statistics, information, humour and wisdom, Silver Shades of Grey answers all the questions you ever had about growing old. A must read for all on how to understand, appreciate and make the most of the journey all of us must take."

Dr Yeoh Lam Keong

former GIC Chief Economist and

Adjunct Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore


"A timely guide to ageing in this age of the baby boomers, grounded in a broad research on gerontological aspects from the physical to the mental, spiritual, sociological and economical, with nuggets of information all found in a neat and handy package."

Choo Wai Hong

author of The Kingdom of Women: Life, Love and Death in China's Hidden Mountains


"In her inimitable style of providing thoughtful, humorous insights backed by credible research, Kanwaljit's collection of bite-sized chapters are endearing yet serious. She makes a convincing case that while one must understand the realities of ageing, the potential of the older mind as a force for creative change and genius is historically proven. If ever there was a primer on ageing and its trials and triumphs, this is it!"

Sylvia Lim

Member of Parliament, Aljunied GRC (2011–) and Chair of Workers' Party (Singapore)
Dr Kanwaljit Soin is a practising medical specialist and was Singapore's first female Nominated Member of Parliament. She is a founder of many civil society organisations including WINGS (Women's Initiative for Ageing Successfully) and AWARE (Association of Women for Action and Research). She was a global ambassador of UK-based HelpAge International which serves disadvantaged older people worldwide. She has served as a board member of Washington University International Advisory Council for Asia. She has also been a jury member for the Rolex Awards for Enterprise.

In 2000, she was presented the "Women Who Make a Difference Award" by the International Women's Forum, Washington DC In 2006, Dr Soin was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (Unifem) Singapore for her selfless contribution to society, especially towards the less advantaged. She was named Singapore's "Her World Woman of the Year" in 1992, and in 2014 she was inducted to the Singapore Women's Hall of Fame.