Vital Aging Network

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Health and Independence

We all want to remain healthy and independent as we age. Studies show that up to 70% of your physical and mental well-being is due to lifestyle choices. Active older adults are increasingly seeking good health through exercise, good diet, and an active life.

New studies are constantly offering ways to prevent or alleviate cognitive impairment, heart disease, adult-onset diabetes, obesity, and a host of physical maladies that you can avoid with proper choices of lifestyle. Websites such as the AGS Foundation for Health in Aging as well as many articles on the web, such as Strength Training Keeps Baby Boomers Young offered at Ezine, can provide you with information about remaining healthy and independent.

In many ways, the American medical model does not fit the realities of an aging population. The system relies on the reciprocal roles of patients and doctors, in which you, as the patient, are sick and go to a doctor to be healed or made well. This model does not encourage you to partner in addressing your health needs. And it does not work well when your physical condition is a chronic illness and the doctor cannot cure you or make you well.

Many health professionals, accustomed to this medical model, find it hard to take on more empowering roles. As we take greater charge of our health, professionals who focus on helping you set goals and attain them, such as physical and occupational therapists, are likely to be more in demand.

More and more evidenced based health promotion programs are gaining popularity as older adults demand access to services that promote wellness.

Page Author: Hal Freshley

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