Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Take care of your body

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends. This is a day to think about all of the wonderful people you have in your life and it is a time to reflect on what is important to you and to yours. As you celebrate this special day, make sure that you take care of yourself.

"If you don’t take care of your body, where will you live?" My friend Jim asked that question after our weekly golf game. We were sitting on the patio, watching the other golfers finishing the 18th and waiting for our lunch to be served.

We had been talking about our game as well as some of the health problems others we knew were having. The question is interesting to me because I do a number of workshops for COSCO Health and Wellness Institute, to seniors on healthy ageing, and the next day I was giving two workshops one on Healthy Eating and one on Medication misuse among seniors. I had been looking for a hook for my workshop on Healthy Eating and I decided to use Jim’s question to get the audience involved and thinking about the topic. It worked and the audience became more involved in the discussion faster, thanks, Jim.

As we age, we know that there are some normal stress and strain the comes with ageing, but our generation is one of the least informed about what is normal ageing.  I have had two friends die as a result of complications arising from Alzheimer’s, but I know that Alzheimer’s and Dementia are not part of normal aging or all of us would get Dementia and Alzheimer’s but we don’t. Yet at the workshop we give on Dementia, the fear raised is that as I age will I get Dementia. The quick answer is no, but individual and family circumstances can affect your potential to get the disease.

Another issue we face as we age is the fear of falling, with good reason, each year in Canada 1/3 of seniors fall at least once and are then 3 times more likely to fall again. Why – because of decreased strength, stability and confidence. But falls can be prevented by taking care of your surroundings and by taking care of your body. Not everyone falls, but many do because they don’t consider the risks and take steps to alleviate them.

As we age, arthritis attacks us Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis and a leading cause of long-term disability. It Affects 1 in 10 Canadians and by age 65, almost everyone will have symptoms in at least one joint.

There is no cure for OA but you can take an active role in managing this chronic disease. As a result, you can be healthier, happier and better able to live more independently. 

The secret is to take care of your body as my friend Jim suggest or you will have nowhere to live.

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