Book review: H.A.G.S WITH ATTITUDE – A Philosophy for Ageing

Angelique du Toit has spent much of her career supporting individuals and teams in their personal development. She draws on her experience as a coach and fashion designer. Angelique now works with older women in her capacity as a Coach and professional image consultant. She is an advocate of the phrase, age is just a number. She has written many books.

When I first saw this title, I have to say I was slightly aghast. For me the term HAG conjures up wizened old nasty ladies in fairy stories. They can also be portrayed as powerful and threatening.

Angelique uses the word HAGS as a pneumonic to capture the key themes of the book.

  • H Healthy Living.
  • A Attitude
  • G Get up and Go
  • S Social connections
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Angelique looks at the historical image of ageing and the modern realisation that the ageing process does not have to be like that. She recounts the personal experiences of a number of women.

She delivers a very positive message. Retirement and getting older should be embraced. The reality is that we don’t have a huge number of years left but that does not mean we should just curl up and quietly wait. The opposite is true.

We owe it to ourselves to stay healthy, have a positive attitude, try new things and hobbies and keep up our social meetings.

After a certain age, there is a danger that people feel invisible, especially when they have lost their identity through retirement from their career or children leaving home. Angelique describes the need to be proud of who we are and fight the old ageing adages. It is important to dress the way we really want, not how we think we should look. She is a great fan of colour and wearing makeup. She has welcomed the fact that now there are companies that cater to the older person positively and excitingly. She loves the makeup, Look Fabulous Forever, created by Tricia Cusden. A range that caters for older skin tones.

The fear of illness increases. Especially that of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Angelique tells us not to be afraid of our brain losing its capabilities. We can boost our brain cells by using and exercising our brains.

Exercise and a healthy diet are vital for us to stay active and healthy. Even if people have chronic health issues, there are still things they can draw on to help them improve.

You can now go online and find many forms of exercise for people suffering from various conditions. Yoga and aqua aerobics being just a couple.

Angelique’s book presents getting old positively and imaginatively. She covers the issues of retirement and the negative feelings attached to it. She acknowledges that it is a scary and lonely time with the loss of family and career for some. By the end, you are left with a sense of excitement, positivity, and so many things to look forward to.

It is a refreshing take on a subject which will affect all of us sooner or later.
I enjoyed her enthusiasm, ideas and her message that our last years could be our best years.