Those who forsake instruction praise the wicked,
but those who heed it resist them.- Proverbs 4:28
Happy Hump Day to you, my friends! As I type this up from my notes today, I look at our security camera feed and see a refreshing, life-giving rain and it makes me think of renewal. Spring has finally sprung in the Ozarks! It feels healthy to me, for some reason, when it rains and then the sun comes out and reflects off of 1 billion droplet prisms everywhere…
Wellness is kind of a big deal, as they say, at SeniorAge, because we recognize that for a senior to live and age well, taking care of themselves is essential. In this life, we are only given one body and how we take care of it matters. Falls, surgeries (with corresponding anesthesia), disease, and the like all have enhanced risks when we do not take care of ourselves as we ought. So my topic for this week’s edition of Who, What, Where, Why, When-sday is being a wellness advocate.
(Note is needed here: I “learned” a new word on a webinar this week: “pathogenesis”. I suppose I have seen the word many times, but I spent some time meditating and thinking about it. “Pathogenesis” comes from two Greek words: πάθος pathos (“suffering”, “disease”) and γένεσις genesis (“creation”). Therefore, to me, a pathogenesis preventer is someone who helps prevent suffering/disease’s creation. While this isn’t always possible, it is in some if not many cases… up to 40% are preventable.)
Who- Anyone can advocate for wellness. You do not have to be in great shape, not a professional in the field. I do think that the best advocates in this area are those who know and understand the body and will use this important fact to beat the phrase drum of “What is good for the heart is good for the brain” over and over because of just how true it is. The more I study the gut biome, I would also recommend the phrase “What is good for the gut is good for your whole body as well”. I believe the best advocates in this area are moving in the wellness direction personally as well. Perfection? Nope. Direction? Yup. That is where I am. I have moved from “morbidly obese” (doc’s definition, not mine) to merely obese at 242 pounds from 360 in late 2019. I have a dad bod, which is what makes my fundraiser in June such a Fonzie Shark Jump, but I am moving in the right direction. 🙂 Feel like you need some training first? Here is a free online college course called Preventing Dementia worth your consideration. I have taken two previous courses from this school and highly recommend them for a beginner. Their info is usually excellent and the price is right! 🙂 Here is the Alzheimer’s Association training website…lots of great and free classes there.
What- So, what does a “wellness advocate/pathogenesis preventer” look like? We need to understand that prevention is quite possible for many people and we need to find a venue to share this information when we can. Nurses, doctors, nutritionists, and the like would be great, but you don’t have to be THAT educated to still help. The message is simple: What is good for the heart is good for the brain. Take care of that ticker…and your whole body. It matters. 🙂
Where- The best plan, in my opinion: There are volunteer positions within the Alzheimer’s Association and many Area Agencies on Aging that are either helping with or leading wellness activities. In the area agency on aging context there are often employment positions available in this realm for those well-trained. These are the front line because of the context: you are directly helping seniors and/or folks with the disease…or that are in the highest risk category. (Note: Dementia is NOT a normal part of aging, but the older we get, the longer we have been poking against the pathogenesis tipping point and the odds keep increasing the more hits the tipping point takes.) In addition to these two organizations, there are certainly other places to stand up and share the good news of prevention. You could start a wellness class at church or another civic group, perhaps, walking or stretching. You could join Weight Watchers or similar and share this information with these folks who need to know about the head-heart connection. (Note: I made my Weight Watchers referral program a part of my fundraiser. If you join, you and I get a free month and I will make a corresponding donation to my fundraiser in the amount I saved. We both win. 🙂 We could promote farmer’s markets by frequenting them and buying fresh veggies early and often. 🙂 Maybe, if we develop a friendship there, we can even pass out some Alzheimer’s Association information out to others in a booth?
Why- I think you know the why here. The more I read, the more I buy into this tipping point concept. Age is the biggest determining factor in who will get dementia, probably because it allows more and more opportunities for the number of causes to mount. We have a certain number of hits we can take, then it starts an unstoppable course…until we find a cure, that is. 🙂
When- The sooner the better. Start studying wellness from experts. Beware of charlatans and snake oil salesmen…stick to very reliable sources. Attend Alzheimer’s Association training events on prevention, or contact them for more details. Make changes in your life in that direction as well. Will you soon be running 37.5 miles for a fundraiser? Some may, others not so much…but I didn’t think I could either. 🙂 There are millions that are too late to prevent the disease, but there are hundreds of millions who are not too late. Find your niche, should you have time/the inclination, and get to work. 🙂
Update: I had a nice visit with mom yesterday for my 15 minutes a week. She was about the same. She is super sleepy but still smiling and relatively pain free, so it could be worse I suppose. We need to fight this disease and we need to prevent it where we can. It has taken an awful lot from mom in a time of her life that she should be living it up. It is tragic…
(One last thing- Remember, when I have a term underlined, it is a link that should open up to a resources on the topic. I spend a lot of time on them because I hope they will help. 1 out of 100 are a link for a product or something similar or a link to my fundraiser. I will tell you when my fundraiser benefits…I am not sneaking around here. 🙂 The internet is a complex thing, so if any of my links ever don’t open right or are unhelpful, let me know. 🙂 )
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