We live in a society that worships then young and the beautiful, we don’t want to get old, we put the elderly in warehouses. If we don’t like aging and, Imagine how we feel about death. Our society does not encourage constructive dialogue regarding mortality, death, and dying. Less than a third adults have a living will/advanced health care directive. Health care powers of attorney which let a trusted person make medical decisions for you when you are unable are very important for all adults to have. The best way to do it is to have an attorney do it there are some do-it-yourself options available for as low as $70. Instead of no fear, know fear. Just do it.
The Mediterranean Diet with plenty of fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grains and olive oil and an average amount of meat and protein has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack, strokes, and diabetes. In addition the latest studies also show that the Mediterranean diet decrease volume of brain loss as we age. It decreases the shrinkage of the brain by about a half. We’ve ll wondered what we can do to prevent/minimize dementia, well here’a a partial answer. So, the Mediterranean diet will not only decrease the risk of cardiac events, strokes, diabetes and now dementia. What are we waiting for? Just Do It.
Most human being prefer living at home than in created communities (assisted living, nursing home, Board and Care, and retirement communities). That is the way I feel…safer at home…more independent at home…more comfortable…eat what I want and when I want…relax when I want to relax. That’s all good. We just have to keep in mind that we are social beings. We do better, live longer, have less chronic infirmities, less cognitive decline when we are challenged mentally,physically, socially and spiritually. So go exercise, eat right, do sudoku but also have fun with friends.
As we get older we can mourn our losses, but still try to create meaningful relationships. We can be grateful for the capacity to find warmth, shared values, interests, understanding, trust and fun with former strangers. We always have the capacity to make not only acquaintances but friends. As we grow older we shed superficial relationships and concentrate on the more meaningful ones. The library, gym, work-out room, senior centers, the internet are all places where we can make new connections… so do it. Will it be easy, maybe, but it’s worth trying.
Can You Regain Muscle Mass After 60? Studies have shown that human beings in their 60s and 70s who begin progressive weight training developed muscle as large and as strong as an average 40-year-old. While young people who work out add “new” muscle fibers. Older ones do not. They increase the size of their muscles without adding new fibers…in practical terms their is no difference. Older muscle become stronger if you work them. The key is that your muscles should be pushed until they are exhausted. Go to the gym and lift weights 2-3 times per week.
‘Aging in place’…’aging at home’ means a lot more than making modifications to your home. However the first step in ‘aging in place’ is to make your home safer. Lists of home attributes are an absence of stairs, wide doorways to accommodate a walker or even a wheelchair, at 24 hour surveillance system that can be monitored by friends or family members remotely via smart phone, GPS locators for family members that might wander. However it will take more than modifying your home to help you ‘age in place’ our communities need to be adapted. We have so many suburban and rural communities where if you choose to stay at home you can still be isolated from the rest of the community. It might mean adapting in an urban neighborhood where you can walk or take the transit to just about everything you need. Most current developments for independent retirees typically come in two flavors: isolated, gated subdivisions, large homes on golf courses or far out in the suburbs. Both require driving everywhere which is a problem for those we don’t want to drive or can we need to create a new paradigm; the walkable urban space or WUP. Quality health care institutions need to be nearby, good public transportation, barrier free sidewalks and if possible be relatively close to your family.