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Anti-Aging News July 2012
July 10, 2012
Welcome to all new readers and welcome back to the regulars. This month I offer 3 items. The last one is especially important and could save your life.
Frailty in the oldFrailty is one of the most devastating aspects of old age. Frail muscles become weak and stringy. Often your legs are the first affected. A walker is needed. Then frailty progresses and a wheel chair is required. When your arms get weak it becomes impossible to comb your hair, or even feed yourself. Total dependence follows. But ALL this is avoidable! You can grow old and NOT become frail. The key is muscle strength and use.
Here is a quick way to determine if you are heading towards frailty in future years.
Find a straight backed chair that does NOT have wheels. (I use a kitchen chair.) Sit. Be sure your back is touching the back of the chair. Cross your arms in front of you. Now stand without using your hands. .
Able to do it? You are not heading towards frailty. Just be sure to do this regularly since muscle weakness can creep up on us. .
Not able to do it? OK. You have a problem. But it can be solved. Start working - sometimes sitting a bit forward helps...and/or putting your hands on your thighs...and/or rocking back and for to get some momentum. Work at it...do whatever you need. Then keep practicing. As you get stronger drop some of your 'helps' - until you can sit back and stand with your arms crossed in front of you.
Once you can do this...do it often. Get up from all chairs this way... exit your car without using your hands. When you are 92 you will be very glad you worked on this EVERY day for years and years.
Change has begunAmazing data. In the 17th, 18th and even 19th centuries, the old were respected and their counsel was often sought by younger people. Age was considered a sign of God's favor. And with family farms and family businesses, the older owners carried great clout since their word controlled family economics. .
Then three things happened. First the 'germ theory' of disease changed longevity from a 'sign of God's favor' to something about behavior and exposures to pathogens. Second, farms and businesses shifted from family to corporations. The old no longer dominated ownership. Third improved health care meant there was an enormous increase in 'live births'. Suddenly there were more young in society than old...and society began shifting focus towards the young, catering towards their interests. The young began to wield most of the political and economic power. .
But this is starting to change. As Ken Dychtwald points out in his new book Age Power, a remarkable shift is happening. The old are becoming the dominant age group! Birth rates have been dropping since 1965. In Europe most countries fall below the 'replacement level' of 2 children per couple. In Italy the fertility rate dropped to 1.2 children per couple! Even China has seen a drop in its younger generation. Chinese fertility rate was 6.7 children per couple in 1954 but is now 1.2 children (just like Italy which is has the lowest rate in Europe.) .
The old (That is us - people past adulthood's middle years) are becoming the largest segment of the population. As such, the older generation can again exert most of the political power in democracies.
The old also are showing real economic power. Example: A 70 year old in the USA who bought a house in an up and coming area at age 22 probably paid no more than $20.000 and had a 30 year mortgage of 3%....which is now paid off. Young person just staring out today who buy similar house in that same area is likely to pay $280.000 or more and their mortgage will carry a rate of at least 4-5%. .
Clearly we (readers of this newsletter) were born at a good time. With fewer and fewer young, societies will NEED our participation. New social structures are already arising. Many of us are working after 'retirement' - many in small entrepreneurial jobs we set up to meet the needs of others. Companies are beginning to notice the 'grey market' and as the number of younger consumers drop, they are beginning to provide more goods and services for the old. Old Age homes are on the wane, while 'continuing care communities' that promise services from full independence (It is like living in a resort hotel) through assisted living and then full care are on the rise. Even the travel industry is shifting its focus to meet the needs and interests of the 'new old'. So, too, movies and fashion - older actors and actresses are becoming common.
We are in a new chapter. We are born at the right time. Unlike our parents, there are so many more options open to us. This is NOT just something we have done....but if we do not take advantage... if we do not make choices to flourish as Elders...if we do not 'give back' by finding was to share our skills, our knowledge and our zest for life....we will fail at a time when Great Elders are needed...and both we and society will be the poorer for it.
NOTE: In much of the developing world, the young still outnumber the old and birth rates exceed 'replacement numbers'. These societies, many of whom have traditions of great respect for elders, may be entering a youth domination phase in economics, politics etc. Here is hoping they can learn from the mistakes of those who went through this phase before them.
IBC - a serious health issueInflammatory Breast Cancer - is/has been a killer that few people know about. IBC can not be found through a breast self examination because it does not make 'lumps'. It can not be detected by a mammogram. Few people, few medical professionals talk about IBC.
This is a public service message for you - a link to a youtube video that provides basic information about detection and treatment for IBC. Please look at it....and share the information with as many people as possible. Lives depend on it. .
Next monthDo you have a topic you'd like me to research and cover in the next few months? If so, just hit REPLY and let me know. Anti-aging updates is here for you, so I am mot interested in knowing what you want, what you like, dislike etc.
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