Updated: Oct 27
The Wellness CEO by Phyllis Ayman
Your Health is YOUR Business
Are you the keeper of your well-being?
It’s NEVER too late
The place to begin is within,
the time to begin is NOW!!!!!
Your Health Is Your BUSINESS!!!
You are the CEO of your sell-being
If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter
If you mind, make it MATTER!!!
The Place to begin is Within, the Time to Begin Is NOW!!!!!
Make the Rest of Your Life, the Best of Your Life!!!!
Feel Fab…..Look Fab…..Be FAB – U – Lous
Recharge, Refresh, Renew
and most importantly…..
The World Health Organization and the United Nations member states have embarked on a global initiative declaring the years 2021-2030 the Decade of Healthy Aging, something I’ve been both writing and speaking about for quite some time. After having the honor and privilege of attending the United Nations International Conference of Older Persons two weeks ago, I was inspired to write is as the subject of this week’s blog.
The population of our planet is getting older. Every country around the world is finding an increase in the number of older people and the percentage they represent in their population.
According to the 2019 United Nations report from the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the world population of people over the age of 65 will increase from 703 million in 2019 to 1.5 billion in 2050. That number represents 16 percent of the world’s population.
In the United States, there are now 100 million people over the age of 50 and 10,000 people/day turning 65 between now and 2034. The over 65 population is now expected to outnumber the under 18 population by the year 2030, down from 2035.
The increased number of older people are obviously going to strain the systems to support people as they advance in years, especially if they become more frail and infirm.
Statistics indicate that someone turning 65 has almost a 70% chance of needing some type of long-term care services and support as they continue to advance in years. Baby Boomers are considered the second largest generation and as they reach the years of retirement age, more of them will need extended care. More than 80% of residents need help with at least three activities of daily living (ADLs) such as dressing or bathing. Around 90% who can walk require assistance or supervision. (HealthinAging.org) and 14% of caregivers for older adults are themselves at least age 65 years of age.(LongTermCare.gov)
For many this supports the belief that we cannot afford old people. But this is far from the truth.
Many older adults looking to find meaning and purpose in their later years, are entering the entrepreneur arena, pursuing long lived passions and interests. Statistics indicate that five years after beginning a business, 70% of those started by older adults are still business as compared with only 28% started by younger adults. In addition, the longevity economy is now worth $8.3 trillion, the 3rd largest economy in the world. Therefore, contrary to the prevailing view, we cannot “not” afford old people.
The United Nations report contends that governments can play an important and pivotal role by encouraging healthy lifestyle, healthy financial and saving habits, promoting employment opportunities for older persons, and especially for women, so they can contribute making valuable contributions to society. It also supports an increase in the retirement age
But what is the role and responsibility us as older people in this paradigm?
While pondering this one day, the words came to me in the form of a poem at the beginning of this post. It’s also at the closing of my chapter in WTF to OMG with a Little LOL, Unpacking Life’s Hidden Lessons.
It was inspired by my story.
ON a warm spring evening, a teenaged girl, age 17, was sitting on the front porch of her modest home in Brooklyn New York the Monday before father’s day. That young girl was me. I remember my father berating me for not going upstairs to change my clothes. You see, I had just finished my first year of college and was working in Manhattan as a secretary during the summer months.
Even though my father was berating me, something told me to remain sitting there. It was like I was riveted to the chair, well, truth be told, I think I was riveted by the book I was reading. Of course, being a defiant teenager was likely part of the equation.
Other than that, everything was calm and peaceful until I heard what seemed to be a loud roar. My next neighbor jumped over the partition bricks that separated our two houses and started slapping my father in the face. He yelled at me to go inside and get my mother. I had no idea what was happening. I looked over and saw my father limp, he seemed to be sleeping and I thought maybe that ‘roar’ was a ‘snore’.
But this time was different. It was much louder and there was only one, not like the incessant snoring I usually heard when he was sleeping. I came to know it as what is called a “death rattle”. In an instant, literally a matter of seconds, I was sitting next to a human being with no pulse. A human being that was no more……my father was gone.
I knew my father had a condition but was well cared for by doctors. He was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes before I was born. I grew up knowing there were special food restrictions and accommodations to be made for a person with diabetes. Whenever my mother cooked, she substituted sugar in almost all of our meals. When it wasn’t possible, she always made something separately for my father.
But my father also didn’t listen to her when she told him about foods he should avoid. He thought it was only sugar, potatoes and rice. She knew it was much more. He would always argue, I can still hear the arguments now.
Even though my father had diabetes, I never thought of him as not being well. After all, he went to the doctor regularly for his checkups. The revered doctor, the man with the stethoscope and the white coat, a member of the U.S. medical community looked up to as having the most advanced medical care in the world. He would surely protect my father.
But, on that very warm spring night, seated next to me on the front porch, the system in which he and our entire family put our faith seemed to be failing him. It may have been considered the best in the world, but it didn’t work in this case. What could have happened? He had just come home from the doctor, and then, in a matter of hours, he was gone.
As a speech/language pathologist working over 40,000 hours with thousands of individuals and their families in over 50 long term care settings in a career that spans over forty-five years, I would have amassed a small fortune if I had even a dime for every person that told me they wished they had followed the doctor’s instructions: taken their blood pressure medication, followed their diabetic regimen, and consistently followed through on prescribed treatments.
Of course, you all know of situations in which people are making what seem to be the best choices for their well-being, but through no fault of their own, environment, DNA, etc. they develop a severe illness. And in those cases, the medical science, the best and the brightest, can be there for them to the greatest degree possible. Is it always successful? Obviously not. Many people lose friends and families to diseases that are beyond anyone’s control.
My father was not uncommon. In our nation, we are expiring before our expiration dates. We spend money on prescription drugs, diets, fads. Yet, the United States is still the most obese nation in the world which is at the root of much of the problem. 40% of Americans are obese, diabetic, or pre-diabetic.
I realized that it is not the medical system that failed my father, but on some level my father failed himself. He didn’t take full responsibility for his health condition.
In not taking full responsibility, he also did not live up to the responsibility he had to the family, which in my mind would have been to care of himself in the best way he could.
Therefore, my question to you is, “What are you doing in this very moment to take of yourself in the best way you possibly can?” Are you taking full responsibility for your health and well-being? Is there something you can do differently so that you can continue to live more healthfully for a longer, happier more fulfilling life?
To find out more about IMpathy® at the heart of creating your personalized longevity or wellness care plan click the link: https://aginglifemanagement.com/optinclkepr5g
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