Healthy choices today help during senior yearsBy Veita Bland, M.D. / March 3, 2017
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On so many occasions I hear people lament about getting older. They feel that their youth is gone and certain parts of their life are also gone. I remind them that if they do not get older the alternative is not good, death. For some, a chuckle ensues for others, I am not sure what they are thinking.
We all must get older if we continue to live. We all must accept ourselves at our various stages in life and decide to be the best we can be at that stage. The trick is healthy aging. More and more studies are showing that the care we give our bodies when we are in our thirties and forties is so important to healthy aging. So many times people are in the midst of raising their children and pursuing their careers during those critical times that taking care of their health may not be paramount. We need to have a paradigm shift and make health a major part of our lives during those years.
Dr. Karen Furie, the American Stroke Association spokesperson and neurologist-in-chief at Miriam Hospital and Bradley Hospitals in Providence, Rhode Island says, “When people think of healthy aging, and the way that they would like to transition from middle to later life, it’s very important that people be able to retain their cognitive abilities and maintain their usual quality of life in terms of being able to work and drive and care for themselves,” she said. “And losing independence, particularly because of memory problems, is one of the things that really terrifies people as they get older.”
A new study provided more evidence that poor health of your blood vessels during midlife is associated with an increased risk for dementia in later life. The main culprits are smoking, hypertension and diabetes.
At this time we have no treatment for dementia so taking care of our bodies may be a ray of hope for us all. Taking care of your health at all stages of your life is imperative. Start off with your children, eat nutrient dense foods, and get plenty of sleep and exercise. What you do today could affect the quality of your life as you get older. Care for yourself well, you deserve it.
Dr. Veita Bland is a board certified Greensboro physician and hypertension specialist. Dr. Bland’s radio show, “It’s a Matter of Your Health,” can be heard live on Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. on North Carolina A&T State University’s WNAA, 90.1 FM. Listeners may call in and ask questions. The show is replayed on Sirius 142 at 5 p.m. on Wednesdays. Email Dr. Bland at firstname.lastname@example.org.