Recently I met with a nurse that came to my home compliments of my Medicare supplemental health care provider. I was told this visit would cost me nothing and was to be an overview of my present health care, prescriptions, etc. Have you done this?
The nurse was surprised at the fact I have never had any major surgery, have not been hospitalized in the past 20 years, never had cancer or been treated for a heart condition. In today’s world, that appears to be unusual. Now I do take blood pressure and cholesterol medication, Aleve for arthritis in my hands, one 81 mg aspirin daily and an over the counter allergy pill daily. Most people tell me I do not look a day older than 50ish, even though I will turn 66 this coming May.
So, what do I attribute my present state of health? My genes? My dad died from Prostate cancer at 62, mom is 85 and as stubborn and feisty as ever! In looking back, I quit smoking cigarettes over 30 years ago, quit using alcohol 20 years ago, I have been exercising the past 30+ years, many of those years in health clubs. Recently simply walking the neighborhood where I live. Walking outdoors daily, accompanied by my Golden Retriever. Sun, rain, snow, sleet, no matter the weather, he has to poop! The fellowship of a great pet, exercise, my wife’s healthy cooking, proactive health care and my faith all contribute to my present health.
Another factor that has made an impact is my work. I continued working in the insurance business until this past September. After I retired I sought part time work in a teen age juvenile delinquent facility… not without its own stress. I do believe stress does have positive benefits; it keeps us alert, challenged and I have no trouble sleeping at night. I also volunteer in our Church and I meet other men for breakfast several times a week. I am staying active and have been most of my life.
I have found the combination of these activities are much more acceptable than falling victim to a variety of heath conditions. If you look around, there are many opportunities to stay active, stocking grocery store shelves is better than 99% of what is on TV today! Most pastors rarely have anyone ask, “where can I help in the Church?” If owning a dog is not realistic, your neighbor would love to have someone walk their dog a couple times a week. Most nursing homes have opportunities to serve, reading or praying with residents, or assisting with their organized activities. If able, delivering meals, cutting grass for someone less able, picking up groceries, taking someone to their weekly chemo treatments or doctor visits. Even writing for Alive 65 is stimulating; writing gets the juices flowing. If you are physically able there are health clubs filled with seniors who are not there to build a six pack (big abdominal muscles) or to look like Sylvester Stallone but to just tone up a bit, you do feel much better and you may make some new friends as well.
Grandkids are another opportunity to be used in a positive way. They need a good listener, not a judge. They need someone to love them regardless of their past decisions. If you have no grandchildren, look around you, your neighborhood, your church, friends with kids, one on one time with a child is invigorating… take a chance!
The answer is within your reach, regardless of where you are physically, there are stimulating activities that can enhance the days, weeks or years that are remaining.