Stan Cohen – Senior Wellness

5 Myths about Exercise and Older Adults

Myth 1: There’s no point to exercising. I’m going to get old anyway.

Fact: Exercise and strength training helps you look and feel younger and stay active longer. Regular physical activity lowers your risk for a variety of conditions, including Alzheimer’s and dementia, heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, high blood pressure, and obesity.

Myth 2: Elderly people shouldn’t exercise. They should save their strength and rest.

Fact: Research shows that a sedentary lifestyle is unhealthy for the elderly. Period. Inactivity often causes seniors to lose the ability to do things on their own and can lead to more hospitalizations, doctor visits, and use of medicines for illnesses.

Myth 3: Exercise puts me at risk of falling down.

Fact: Regular exercise, by building strength and stamina, prevents loss of bone mass and improves balance, actually reducing your risk of falling.

Myth 4: It’s too late. I’m already too old, to start exercising

Fact: You’re never too old to exercise! If you’ve never exercised before, or it’s been a while, start with light walking and other gentle activities.

Myth 5: I’m disabled. I can’t exercise sitting down.

Fact: Chair-bound people face special challenges but can lift light weights, stretch, and do chair aerobics to increase range of motion, improve muscle tone, and promote cardiovascular health.

As a teacher of movement and balance exercises for seniors in Independent and assisted living center, I run across a good number of seniors who are used to sitting and doing nothing during the course of a normal day. I find this to be true also of most over 80 seniors who are home bound.

Having been a caregiver to my mother-in-law and working with my mom who is in her 80’s the main issues for them not exercising is not what I first thought it would be. I used to think they just don’t care and have chosen to give up and as a result have let themselves go.  Read the rest of this entry »

In the last few years working with the senior population I have run across a huge contingent of people who are their parents caregivers. There is also a tremendous number who see it coming as our boomer population ages and we start taking care of our parents who, by the way, are living longer and expect it of us.

A few of the major issues of caregiving I hear about are burnout, anger, frustration, exhaustion, boredom, of course love and loneliness.  Most have aches and pains from the constant on their feet running here and there, lifting, bending, carrying, cleaning and all the other movements associated with the daily grind of assisting an older person.  The older and more fragile, the more work involved of course.  My own mother in law for example was dead weight, and much heavier for her size then she should have been. Read the rest of this entry »

This is my first post in quite some time.  to be honest, I’ve been very busy working on my seniors and family care givers website and have not had much time to think about blogging.

But, just this past week in one of my classes at The House of Good Shepherd I had quite a conversation with one of the independent living residents.

The women, let’s call her June, was in class last month and was telling me that the following day she was going for therapy and was going to have to “walk the plank”.  I asked her about this and she informed me that part of her therapy was going to be working on her balance by walking heel to toe on a 6″ wide board, about 8 feet long.

I asked if she was comfortable with this idea and she said “no, I don’t have very good balance and I am afraid of falling over”.  Since she was new to class I asked her if she knew anything about the rolling walk, or the heel first method of stepping.  Again she said no.

We proceeded to practice this simple “Tai Chi” style of taking a balanced, heel to toe rolling step. First as baby steps and worked it into a slightly smaller than normal step. We then did this near a wall where she would finger touch for balance and she tried the heel in front of the other foot toe walk.

To her surprise, she felt comfortable with it. Still needing practice, and lots of it of course, the thanked me and we went our separate ways.

Just yesterday, the first day seeing her since, she told me that she amazed the therapist by having no trouble on the board using the method I showed her.  I asked if the therapist mentioned the walk and she said no, but he was very interested in what she was doing”.

I continued to ask questions on what they were teaching her at physical therapy and she said “they don’t teach me anything” and “I learn more in this class about building my balance and safety then with them by far”.

Now, this is the bottom line of my peeve. I am not a physical therapist. I teach common sense movement based in Tai Chi theory.  I am not a “licensed professional”  from any institute yet I hear these similar type comments from most of my elder students.

The question is, why don’t they teach people how to walk, how to stand, how to build balance and leg strength using simple exercises that are withing their range of capabilities?

I would love some comments on this issue.  Have you experienced this and if so, how do you work on building your capabilities?

 

Sarah Collins
The Little Guide to Big Changes
Wellness Care Today

Visualize a flower becoming a bud, and then slowly growing into the beautiful flower it is meant to become. This is a great metaphor of the journey of life. Just as a flower reaches its peak of beauty at full maturity, the senior years should be a time of full awakening into the person you were born to be. The senior years in a person’s lifespan should acknowledge the depth and breath of life experience. A certain amount of influence goes along with advancing age, in recognition for the distance traveled, for the wisdom accumulated as you continue to walk your unique life path.

People like to say that life is about youth, but I suspect the only ones saying that are the young and advertisers! The elderly segment of society has so much insight and understanding to convey. But here in the U.S. we do not appreciate the senior population the way other cultures do. We tend to try to hide them from view, almost to the point of pretending they don’t exist. We shuffle them off into nursing homes, promising to visit when our busy lives settle down, but they never do. The seniors in this country are pushed aside in favor of youth, of appearances. You see it in families, in the job sector, and even in our government with its mandatory retirement age. It’s as if we’re saying as a collective that a person doesn’t have much if anything to offer after reaching a certain age. As a culture, that kind of insensitivity is astounding and highly detrimental to society.

We should be embracing the wise and wonderful arena of life known as the golden years. Maturity is beautiful in its wisdom, intelligence and self-deprecating sense of humor. The golden years should be full of life’s bounty, the time to enjoy the fruits of one’s labor, be it financially or career oriented, about one’s family or leisure activities, mental and spiritual accomplishments. The elders in society should be respected for their years of experience and most certainly their contributions.

This is the time in life to pause and see how far you’ve come on your journey, to make assessments and corrections – it’s never too late! Everyone, no matter how advanced in age, has something of significance to offer, right up until his or her last breath. Pearls of wisdom dot the landscape of maturity, yet so often are unacknowledged. If you are a senior, why not think about the wealth of experience you have to offer and the ways you could share it? It may be on an individual level, with a group or something bigger. The size or amount of information doesn’t matter; it’s really all in the sharing. Your wisdom can be the inspiration for another. Embrace and share the wisdom you’ve earned!

Written by Minerva Navarro, M.D.
Published in the Los Altos Town Crier

Soon the holiday season will be over and many of us will start thinking about our New Year’s resolutions. Staying healthy often comes at the top of our lists.

We know what we need to do to take care of ourselves, but sometimes it’s easy to forget, or we let daily life get in the way of taking the necessary steps. This is especially true for seniors. If you are a senior, or have a loved one who is a senior, following are five simple steps to better health. Read the rest of this entry »

A bit about living life to it’s fullest

2 Golf balls and a Mayonnaise Jar – To all the golf balls in my life.

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.

When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls..

He then asked the students if the jar was full. Read the rest of this entry »

Visit www.maturitymatters.net

We have created MaturityMatters.net to help Seniors and their families live joyful and independent lifestyles.

Visit our Facebook page

Home Study Tai Chi and Qigong

We have found the most effective home study course on the market. Check out the program.

Guide to Assisted Living

Check out Ryan Malone's Book The By Families, For Families Guide to Assisted Living: A Step-by-Step Guide to Evaluating and Transitioning to an Assisted Living Community
Blog Directory for New Jersey
Performancing Metrics