Old age – it’s just a number
Sometimes patients come in and tell me they don’t remember injuring their knee/ neck/ shoulder - whichever part of them is painful. Instead, they tell me ‘it’s just old age’. I’m always curious about this. If one knee is painful but the other is pain-free, they’ve already disproved their theory. Both knees are the same age, so the pain can’t be caused by ‘old age’! What’s more likely is they’ve injured it, not by a memorable event like falling over, but by repetitive use in a manner which is beyond the optimum movement of function for that joint. Over time the area becomes irritated, the joint movement and/or function may change and at a later time it becomes a source of pain.
What’s your experience of old age?
Instead let’s step back and re-examine our expectations of old age. Many people – even those who are fit and healthy in their twenties – expect old age to be featured with disease, pain, a reduced social circle of friends and infirmity. For some people, this is the case which is heart-breaking. It’s good to remember that most elderly or ill people’s quality of life can improve someway with simple interventions, full-spectrum lighting, listening to music from their younger decades, interaction with animals. There is plenty of information and research on the success of these interventions.
The good news is…
When you know what old age can look like, then you’ll want nothing else. Have you seen the news item about Eileen Ash from Norfolk who is 105? She drives, attends a weekly yoga class and is bright as a button. She looks like a sparky, healthy 80 year old. My goodness, this woman is an inspiration.
How to age like Eileen
She attributes her health to good eating and two glasses of wine a day! If someone was to note her activities for a week, there’s probably more to it than that. She comes across as a social person and social interaction is key to our overall wellbeing – at any age. In the video she presents with a positive outlook and from the way she moves, she’s kept her flexibility and mobility. Dig further and you learn she represented England as a Test Cricketer, her first game was in 1937.
Some ideas for you or your family
- Take steps to maintain or improve flexibility, mobility, strength, speed, stamina, agility, co-ordination, reaction time and balance.
- Make sure you heal fully following an injury. Get a chiropractor to check your current injuries are healing or that old injuries have healed optimally.
Whatever your age today, consider what action you can take to improve your health NOW and steer your course of ageing towards the sprightliness Eileen Ash has demonstrated. Thank you, Eileen, for showing us the way!
If you’d like more information on how simple interventions: lighting, music and animals can improve an elderly person’s quality of life, please email me and I’ll send you the links.