I couldn’t believe my eyes! The morning show with Charlie Rose interviewed a 77 year old woman who had an amazing story. First, the interview showed her at the gym working out while they interviewed her. She told of how she started taking insulin and high blood pressure medication at age 50. She endured two hip and knee replacements.
I always heard that 7’s were lucky numbers if your a gambler. Well, this woman definitely took a gamble. At age 77 she decided to start working out. She transformed her entire life through her efforts. Not just a workout, but cross fit! Ten months later she was down to a few pills a day and had lost 50 pounds! The cross fit regiment changed her physically, mentally and spiritually. Another benefit of working out was cresting w community that she could really count on emotionally. The loss of her husband found her distraught, but the support of her Cross Fit community saw her through a rough period and became her family.
A great example of how movement can help older adults.
Government’s Role In Treating The Elderly
The proliferation of nursing homes was the end result of Medicare only paying for care in approved hospitals. Nursing homes started popping up in 1965 because many hospitals couldn’t meet their standards. The explosion of nursing homes was apparent by 1970 and regulations surrounding them were sketchy. Later they became more stringent. The book gives the history of a woman who was so dissatisfied with the care at nursing homes that she developed a new concept; assisted living. She became so successful and was the beginning of the chain of events that included intermediate care and independent living.
How Do We Want To Live At the End?
The author artfully weaves a story of his own fathers demise with that of other case examples. It was quite touching to read the narratives of people who faced with so many obstacles made the conscious decision to do what they could to stay alive. They make the point that doctors tend to be either authoritative, or giving the patient choices to make their own decisions. Most patients want a combination of both. It points out many interesting findings. One, that patients nearing the end of life or facing difficult medical situations, need to think about what is most important to them. I chuckled when I read the story about the man who wanted only to be able,to eat chocolate chocolate and watch baseball on TV! They discovered that many people don’t know what they want and their desires will change as the obstacles mount up. Another interesting finding discussed in the book is that hospice patients fared better than those opting for all types of advanced treatment. They tended to live longer and in a more comfortable way.
This is a book that I put off reading and I must say my reaons for doing so were unfounded. This is a great book for all baby boomers to read and enjoy. The title may be scary – but the book is not!
I recently read an article in the New York Times about a food reporter who was lucky enough to follow a longevity expert around the city and have him prepare a dinner for him. The catch was that the food purchased and dinner prepared would consist of foods eaten by people who live lengthy lives, often to 100 These people live in the “Blue Zones” that I have posted about before. Mr. Buettner who was preparing the feast also is the researcher and writer of books about the Blue Zones. Again, these are Icaria and Sardinia, Okinawa, Japan, the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica, and Loma Linda, California, home of the Seven Day Adventists.
The two gentleman visited various food markets and the reporter was taken by surprise by what was healthful to eat and what was not on the list. I have listed the musts and must nots below.
Foods For Longevity
- Coffee with soy milk (multiple cups)
- Fennel, broccoli, celery, carrots, tofu, can of chickpeas
- Coconut Milk
- Frozen berries
- Local Honey
Foods On “Don’t Eat” List
- Juices in colors of green, orange and purple(full of sugar)
Other Ways To Increase Longevity
- Staying active with moderate exercise; long walks, yoga, on line skating, biking
He mentions he would never be caught doing cross fit and that strenuous exercise isnt recommended due to the unwanted stress on joints.
They sat down to a delicious dinner that was far from the tapas, and pork belly ramen that he normally eats as a food writer Guess what? He liked it and didn’t find it all that limiting. My biggest question is- where does dark chocolate play into this longevity feast? I love having a bit of dark chocolate in my daily diet. What about you? Do you think you could follow some of these ideas? Are you already eating this way?
No – you don’t have to travel to China to learn how we can grow older and wiser! However, since the Chinese revere the elders I thought it appropriate to insert a picture taken earlier this year during my trip to China. Now – got your attention?
TRUTH OR FICTION?
The truth is we are familiar with people who do stupid things at age 60 that they probably were doing at age 20 while others slow down and show signs of dementia However, I do recognize there are older people who wrote cursively, may have used fountain pens and are currently attached to their IPad!
Studies have been conducted and reported in a journal of Psychological Science that tested the preconception that intelligence much like agility slows down as we age. Their lead author, Joshua Hartshorne explains that we do slow down physically as we age, .but intelligence is different. He claims, ” as you get older you’re slowing down, but you’re also getting wiser!” So, these two things are happening concurrently. The study compared different skills and discovered that the way we age with each skill does differ.. For example, our ability to recognize names and faces ages early while our vocabulary and background knowledge have a longer lifespan. This research was quite complex. They divided the 2,500 adults taking this test into 13 age groups and got a wider picture of those aging from adolescence to retirement. They also added survey and internet based tests that focused on reasoning, memory and emotional intelligence. The end results show that our skills shift as we grow older, and our emotional intelligence takes over. Our ability to determine and decipher body language doesn’t decline until our 60’s. One very interesting finding is that our vocabulary continues to grow and doesn’t peak until we are 70.
So, we can conclude that as we grow older we can become wiser!