The Eldercare Advocate
Are we living longer as a society? According to Paul Irving, Chairman of The Milken Institute Center for The Future of Aging, while overall it appears people are living to advanced ages, there is inequality in longevity which can be linked directly to socioeconomics and community.
The quality of people’s lives is significantly affected by their financial means and as well as where they live. Access to, and knowledge of, a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a more healthful diet, access to health care, as well as depression, loneliness, and isolation, are factors linked to decrease in life span over the past 3 years for people who life in communities where they may be facing more challenges as opposed to those living in more rural areas. Other factors which may affect a person’s overall health issues is actually discrimination against older people, also known as ageism.
The John Hartford Foundationreleased an issue brief in April of 2017 entitled “Reframing Aging”. The brief emphasizes the negative impact of our society’s view of becoming older, and because of this negative view, as if it is a fate to be avoided at all costs (a conundrum in and of itself. In a previous blogpost, I suggested the incongruence of us mourning premature death as a life unfulfilled, and yet shunning the notion of getting older, avoiding the discussion at all costs.) However, discrimination faced by older people is actually an issue of national concern which needs to be addressed. This discrimination leads us as a society to accept, tolerate or seem to be disinterested in the poor care, poor treatment, lack of dignity and lack of respect faced by older people, and indeed those that are very old.
The brief goes on to call for the need to redefine aging. This is based on the negative assumptions about what it means to get old. In addition, as Paul Irving states, there is no one size fits all. There is a vast difference to each person who is 65, 75, 85, or 95. No different that there is a vast difference amongst people of any other age group. These differences may be defined by health, wealth, education, religion, gender and sexual preference but can certainly go on from there.
Rather than having sympathy for the older person, society must shape its attitudes towards inclusion. It is indeed a human rights issue. The rights of the older person in no way differs from the rights of any other person in society.
The words we use also has a tremendous impact on our attitudes. In American culture, from the time we are little we are using the word ‘old’ as in “how old are you”. Other cultures ask the query, “how many years do you have?”, or “what year are you living?”. Transforming our language will play an important role in changing our attitudes.
Lastly, the brief suggests an entirely new perception about aging, both from society as a whole, as well as from the perspective of the person who is advancing in their years. It suggests the notion of building momentum, I support terminology such as advancing in years or continuing life’s journey. It is an accomplishment, something to be admired and respected. Other cultures consider reaching an advanced age as a jubilee of sorts. In the latter case, it is documented that a person’s self-image has a tremendous impact on their overall health.
Science has done its part in helping people live longer. But institutions, society, businesses, communities have not necessarily kept up with science on the one hand yet, on the other, it has perpetuated our youth oriented culture. This is most evident in the $16.8 billion spent on both invasive and less invasive cosmetic techniques to maintain or regain their youthful appearance. Is this not counterintuitive to the idea of accepting and appreciating one’s age. I’ve heard people say, look at the wrinkles on my face and the gray hairs on my head, I have earned every single one. They have meaning and importance, not only in my life, but for the life of others.
What is the cost to society if we don’t change our attitudes, provide better care and a better quality of life to people as they advance in age? Those “wisdom keepers” are a valuable natural resource that can add tremendous value to our society on many fronts and to the lives of those younger than they who can indeed benefit from the wealth of acquired knowledge through years of life experience.
What is it to feel a particular age?
When we are younger, as we advance from our 20’s. to our 30’s and probably to about our 50’s we feel a sense of growth and maturity. But, what do we feel as we continue on our life’s journey from that point upward to our 60’’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s?
Irving points out that prior to the 20thcentury creation of the “Happy Birthday” song, age was judged by fitness, health, etc. A return to this way of thinking may help us on the road to restructuring and refashioning our attitudes towards people as they continue to age.
Hugo Gerstl, a guest on Voices for Eldercare Advocacy remains a practicing trial attorney and author of 5 books at seventy-eight years of age. He suggests that despite what we see in the mirror, a person always remains the same age deep down inside himself or herself, and that age is early maturity.
Gerstl also suggests that there is not a limitation or an endpoint in the jobs of life and he believes that the attitude one has toward or traditional idea of a job affects our attitudes towards life. In our early years, through teens or early twenties for some, it is the job of going to school which is followed by years of gainful employment. But, if one chooses to end their traditional employment, they can think of their job as a continuation to acquire knowledge, to grow, to help others, to have interests beyond himself or herself. This is what keeps a person vital, vibrant, active and engaged. In doing so, there are significant contributions one can make though they may take on a different form.
Let’s Get Clinical: Understanding Depression, Dementia, and Delirium
This blog is about three clinical syndromes that besiege many older adults: depression, dementia, and delirium. For those who are not working in the field of health care or may have heard the terms but don’t know how to distinguish among them, this blog sets out to explain their similarities and the differences. And, if you happen to re-play Olivia Newton-John’s “Let’s Get Physical” in your head while reading, all the better.
Why is this an important subject? Caregivers, both paid and unpaid, are present in at least 20% of U.S. households, and this is expected to
grow rapidly over coming decades, for several reasons: demographics – the population is aging, medical advances that allow for shorter hospital stays, and more home technology that allow people to reside in their homes longer. Additionally,
Never Too Late: Research Now Finds that Increasing Exercise at Any Time Can Increase Lifespan: Join the Livingto100.Club
The notion that it’s never too late to shift toward healthier behaviors gets another boost with research findings from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Smoking cessation, dietary modifications, a change in outlook, and other strategies can prove to be beneficial on our mental and physical well-being, promote successful aging, and increase longevity, regardless of how late in life these changes are adopted. Now, a study in the British Medical Journal is showing that it is never too late to reap the benefits of a longer life just by adding exercise to our daily routine, or increasing the intensity of our usual routine. Strikingly, the benefits included reduced mortality risk from cancer and cardiovascular disease.
The study followed over 14,000 men and women, aged 40 to 79, for anywhere from 7 to 12.5 years, monitoring lifestyle and risk factors (education level, employment status, diet, alcohol, smoking, BP), as well as changes in medical history. The researchers looked at physical activity and sedentary habits. Throughout the follow-up period, approximately 2,000 participants died from cardiovascular disease and cancer. After controlling for pre-existing activity levels, the authors concluded that over time, high levels of physical activity correlated with a lower mortality risk. More striking, though, was the finding that modest increases in exercise correlated with a 29% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and an 11% lower risk of dying from cancer. The authors inferred that participants who went from being physically inactive to becoming more active over a 5-year period were less likely to die from any cause than people who were consistently inactive.
One final conclusion applied to those who already were involved in high levels of activity: those who had high levels of physical activity at the start of the study were 42% less likely to die prematurely from any cause.
The benefits of increasing physical activity do not depend on past activity levels. This is the encouraging result. As the authors state, older adults “can still gain substantial longevity benefits by becoming more active, lending further support to the broad public health benefits of physical activity.” It also affirms the belief that we should never give up or stop moving forward. Apparently taking on new behaviors at any age still pays off.
The Living to 100 Club, LLC, is an Amazon Affiliate; sales commissions accrue to the Company when recommended Amazon products are purchased by our readers. These products target healthy lifestyles, information on successful aging, and aid to caregivers. The online store at Living to 100 Club also gives you access to more products with items that improve health awareness, fitness, and travel with items for maintaining an active senior lifestyle and a positive outlook toward our future.
Radio Talk Show
The Living to 100 Club is all about staying positive as we age. Our blog articles and our new weekly live Radio Show emphasize longevity, successful aging, risk management, and handling setbacks whenever they occur. Be sure to tune in to our weekly live Radio Talk Show on VoiceAmericaHealth, every Friday at 2pm Pacific, with your Host, Dr. Joe Casciani.
Missed the live event? Recordings of all episodes are stored on the Club website. Scroll down on the audio player and select “Episode Listing” to display the selections.
This Week’s Recommendations
Exerpeutic Folding Upright Exercise Bike – Editor’s Choice: small enough to fit in a studio apartment while also being strong and sturdy.
Amazon Basics Neoprene Dumbbell Pairs and Sets with Stands – Ideal for resistance training, and made for indoor and outdoor use.
Learning Dumbbell Workout Exercise Poster – Double-sided for vertical or horizontal use, tear-resistant.
Younger Next year: The Exercise Program – A Guide to show the right way to exercise, how to start an exercise regimen, and the know-how to keep it going.
AmazonBasics ½-inch Extra Thick Exercise Mat – Extra thick mat for workout routines, textured surface, and lightweight (74×24”)
Sign-up For Our Email List
Click this link to sign up for our email list.
Click this link for a copy of the Living to100 Club Member Handbook, 9 Principles to Create Positive Frame of Mind as We Age.
I had the great pleasure and honor of having Dr. Will Tuttle, author of The World Peace Diet, on Sacred Exploration Radio, in which we discussed the deep spiritual implications of how we eat. Our philosophies align quite beautifully and expand upon each other’s experience. Here, he provides additional information about basic principles in understanding longevity:
The higher we are eating on the food chain, the more concentrated the toxins are in the foods we are eating. Cows, pigs, chickens, and farmed fish, for example, are eating corn, soy, alfalfa, and other grains that absorb environmental toxins, especially if they’re not organic. Additionally, their feed is often enriched with fishmeal, chicken litter, slaughterhouse waste, and other substances that concentrate toxins, and that industry has found profitable to use, promoting weight gain and milk production. The result is that with animal foods, we are consuming PCBs, dioxins, heavy metals, nuclear radiation, pesticides, herbicides, and a wide range of injected drug and hormone residues. These physical toxins tend to increase rates of cancer and weaken our immune system, reducing longevity. There are also naturally occurring toxins in animal foods, such as the primary protein in milk, casein, which we are not designed to digest, as well as other animal proteins that tend to be inflammatory and to acidify our blood and tissues. These substances, along with saturated animal fat, hormones, heterocyclic amines, and other naturally occurring substances increase risk for heart disease, strokes, diverticulitis, kidney and liver disease, obesity, autoimmune disease, arthritis, and other conditions that reduce health and longevity.
However, beyond these physical toxins that accumulate in animal-sourced foods, there are what we can refer to as metaphysical toxins that we may not be aware of. The animals who provide the flesh, dairy products, and eggs we are typically pressured into eating from infancy are confined, mutilated, abused, and killed in ways that lead to our consuming metaphysical toxins. I have heard the plaintive wails of despondent dairy cows whose calves are stolen from them at birth, and the squeals of pain and terror as pigs are sent to slaughter. In purchasing animal foods, we are both causing and consuming acute fear, despair, pain, sadness, and frustration. What is the result of building our bodies with these hormonal and vibrational realities? Further, all the cows, pigs, chickens, and other animals we use for food are killed at a small fraction of their natural life spans, when they are mere infants or children in human terms. What is the result of killing billions of animals for food when they are only infants? Destroying the longevity and health of others, do we destroy our own health and longevity?
We can see the answer to this in the decreasing longevity rates in the U.S., and in the vast profits accruing to the medical-pharmaceutical industry, which sells billions of dollars of drugs annually in three main markets: 1) for animals who are imprisoned for food; 2) for people who eat foods derived from these animals and consequently need medications for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other resulting conditions, and 3) the largest market of all, for people who are prescribed medications for mental conditions such as insomnia, depression, anxiety, panic, and dementia, and who, significantly, are typically buying and eating animal foods, causing insomnia, depression, anxiety, and panic in the animals whose flesh and secretions they are eating. The ancient wisdom holds true eternally: as we sow, we reap.
Longevity is not only about the quantity of years we live; it is also about the quality of our lives as well. As a composer and pianist, I have spent quite a bit of time over the years offering concerts to elderly people confined to nursing homes, and have thus been able to witness some of the effects of our food and medical systems. Many of us who in our later years are committed to these institutions are drugged into states where we exhibit little awareness and our capacities and functionality are tragically minimized. We may live for years in these facilities doing little more than watching television and staring blankly. These painful years add little to meaningful longevity, yet cows, pigs, chickens, and fishes continue to be killed to keep us alive, and as a culture, we fail to see how our abuse of these animals boomerangs and affects us all.
Looking more deeply into longevity, we are called also to address the bigger picture, and the purpose of our lives on this Earth. Why are we here, actually? If we live longer, what are we doing with the additional years? How are we contributing to our deeper purpose, and to the purpose of humanity? What role does our lifetime here have in the larger journey of our being as an expression of eternal consciousness?
No matter how we look at it, whether we live to be 60, or 80, or even, say, 110 years, which seems remarkably long to us, we will inevitably find ourselves at that moment when we leave our bodies, and this moment is unpredictable. The mere handful of decades we have here on our earthly adventure, relatively brief and precious as it is, opens ineluctably to a new experience after death that is strongly influenced by how we live our life here.
We are not merely physical objects, pieces of living meat with a brain and biological drives. This delusion of materialism is perpetuated by our animal-enslaving culture, which is based on eating animals and relentlessly reducing beings to things.
Despite the reductionist narrative of our culture, we are all manifestations of infinite and eternal consciousness. Though what we are can never, essentially, be born or die, our human life is significant, because we have the opportunity to learn, grow, express, and contribute as part of a boundless unity of being.
By questioning the official stories of our culture that promote violence and disease, and pursuing our lives as questing adventures of awakening joy, love, freedom, and respect for all expressions of life, we connect with our spiritual health and longevity, which is rooted in the timeless awareness that is the core of our true nature. By living this lifetime in alignment with vegan values, endeavoring to bless others and allowing them to fulfill their purposes, we sow seeds not just for physical health and longevity, but also for metaphysical health and longevity as well.
Our journey is far more vast than we can fathom, especially within the context of our cultural conditioning. The seeds we sow will produce after their kind, with consequences that reverberate throughout the entire web of creation, far beyond what we’re aware of here. The quality of these reverberations determines the quality of our lives not just as physical beings here on Earth, but as expressions of eternal consciousness in the far bigger picture into which our lives here unfold. This is the most significant longevity, and one through which the compassion of vegan living brings benefits to all of us, both here on this Earth, and also into our unfolding journey beyond the veils of this lifetime.
Will Tuttle, Ph.D, author of the international best-seller, The World Peace Diet, is a pianist, composer, Dharma Master in the Zen tradition, recipient of the Courage of Conscience Award and Empty Cages Prize, and vegan since 1980.
Genetics account for only 25% of a person’s longevity. The rest is how you live your life. Learn tips from centenarians for a new model for aging.
Join Christopher Sowton as he shares five steps to receiving the inner guidance of our dreams: Catch, Clarify, Orient, Connect, Respond . With hands-on techniques, examples from the author’s psychotherapy practice, and guidance for working with fourteen common dream motifs, his book, Dreamworking–How to Listen to the Inner Guidance of Your Dreams, shows how to facilitate dreamwork for psychological and spiritual transformation.
When you affirm that the world is good and you recognize the sources of goodness are outside yourself, you’ll feel happier, healthier, and grateful. Set your intention to give thanks for everything you are and have. Cynthia Brian will help you appreciate the little things that matter.
Guest Bio: Dr. Christopher Sowton
Dr. Christopher Sowton ND RP is a naturopath and a psychotherapist. Based in Toronto, his practice focuses on dreamwork. Since 2003 Christopher has been training health care practitioners of all kinds to integrate dreamwork into their practices. He is a member of the IASD (International Association for the Study of Dreams) and has recently published a book—Dreamworking–How to Listen to the Inner Guidance of Your Dreams. http://www.christophersowton.com/
Hello all you pet lovers…..
I am Dr Julie Mayer. I am a Holistic Veterinarian. I am certified in veterinary acupuncture, veterinary chiropractic, and animal rehabilitation. You can find out more about me at www.integrativeveterinarian.com.
I am an adjunct professor at Midwestern University Veterinary Medicine College and I have assisted teaching pre-med students at Arizona State University. As a veterinarian I am a teacher as well as a doctor. My desire is to reach out to the public and talk about many aspects of our companion pets’ health and well being. I want to discuss how to raise and care for companion pets as naturally and holistically as you can.
You see, VoiceAmerica reached out to me to Host an Internet Radio Show because they found out what I do for the pet community and my more Holistic approach to veterinary medicine and general husbandry. I volunteered immediately. This is what I love to do….make sure that pet owners have the opportunity to explore all options of health care and to know what is the latest information on pet health and pet happenings. I am creating an internet radio show to be just like an encyclopedia of information for the pet owner. In addition, I want this show to be interactive and allow the audience to call in, write in (via Face Book and Twitter, etc) their questions and concerns. I will also have guests on the show to share their wealth of knowledge.
I am very dedicated to my profession and to the animal lovers. I am sincere and want to be able to help as many pet owners as I can.
I am inviting you to an opportunity to advertise on this show/station or to be a Sponsor. Commercials will be played during the episodes and each episode will go to an archive on iTunes, etc. Which means the advertisement lives on and every time a listener plays an archive the commercials/advertisements will be heard! I can forward the Media Pack and the information that you will need. Please consider this opportunity to show your support for natural pet care and to take this opportunity to showcase your product! Many thanks in advance.
Dr Julie Mayer
There is a lot of talk about longevity, the cost and availability of sick-care, advances in medical technology, the expense of those advances, who can get the necessary sick-care now, the freedoms and restrictions on living freely, and who is in charge of your health.
Most people think of medical care after they become sick. Others of us use medical, scientific, spiritual, mental and emotional knowledge to maintain wellness
There you are, standing at the crossroads in your life, wondering how to improve in all areas of your life. Do you realize that life is synonymous with growth and is something you have been doing every day since you were conceived or do you take the path that says, âThere is nothing you can do about your body. Your genes dictate your future. Letâs hope the doctors and pharmaceutical companies can give you what you need to stay alive.â
Guest E. Thomas Costello better known as Tom is the founder of Live To Be 120 and Healthy.com
For more than a dozen years he was the head of the coaching program at The Healing Codes of Dr. Alex Loyd Services.
His life-long interest in human behavior and potential has made him a devoted student and expert in the ways to develop human consciousness to higher levels. The end result of which is greater health, peace, success and fulfillment of lifeâs purposes.
His very wide background in spiritual studies, business and personal coaching, sales, executive leadership, and the military provides a wealth of knowledge and experience. He has been committed to understanding and helping people healing since childhood. He comes from a family of spiritually and psychically developed people.
He has studied in a college of pharmacy for 3 years, had 6 years in the United States Army and was a Captain in the Special Forces (âGreen Beretsâ), has over 20 years in sales and sales management in a Fortune 500 companies and as a partner in a small entrepreneurial company. He started his own Church of The Healing Spirit. Tom is schooled in EFT, TAT, BSFF, P.E.A.T, Gentle Touch and Touch Assist. He is also a master at Spirit Detachment.
Tom is the author of a childrenâs book set: Â âJohnny Proboscis and his Four Extraordinary Palsâ and a co-author of âA Guide to Getting it â Abundanceâ.
He is a recent widow when his wife, Mary Ann died suddenly in December 2015. Tom resides in Naples, Florida and Greenport, New York. Â He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren.