THE ELDERLY

Current issues, news and ethics
kmaherali
Posts: 24596
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2003 3:01 pm

Post by kmaherali »

Salama't House - Community based assisted living in Nairobi

https://the.ismaili/kenya/salamat-house ... ng-nairobi

“Everyone wants to live longer, but no one wants to be old” Harry Moody

A staggering 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 each day across the world and will continue to do so until the early 2030’s. In Nairobi, 50% of the Jamat is over 65 years of age. (https://www.census.gov/)

Our elderly provide us with a fountain of wisdom and experience and form an integral part of our community and value system. Old age is one of the most delicate stages of life. As a person ages, in most cases, there comes a sense of dependency, as well as vulnerability. It is at this point in the circle of life that one must prepare to age gracefully – whether in a nuclear family environment or within a community environment of peers.

While many seniors do live independent lives or within a family setting, there are a number that do not. In today’s world, the reasons are varied - the stresses and strains of the workplace may overwhelm this support system for seniors, and at the same time the very support system could be ageing, encounter immigration of younger family members, family discord or simply the lack of resources to take care of an elderly person.

The Council of Kenya recognized the necessity to be able to house seniors and individuals in need. The Social Welfare Board (SWB) received a generous donation of an entire building in Parklands. This was appropriately named Salama’t House.

Within this assisted living facility, and the ethos of community-based care, the team is working to create a serene, holistic environment to heal mind, body and soul.

The thought of moving one’s elderly into a home is culturally alien, as well as daunting one. And this negative perception is deeply rooted. However, Salama’t House aims to ensure the dignity and well being of its residents.

It is a comfortable and safe environment, much like being in your own home surrounded by your familiar things, with carefully planned meals for a healthy lifestyle in a community setting. There are a number of rooms and small apartments available in a light and airy building with a lift, Wi-fi and backup generator. We have dedicated floors for male and female residents. Meals, laundry and daily cleaning services are also provided for residents. Salama’t House has its own dedicated wheelchair enabled bus for Jamatkhana visits, outings and medical appointments. A member of staff also accompanies any resident who has a doctor’s appointment.

Our staff are professional caregivers and we have fully qualified, certified nursing care on hand, equipped to deal with conditions ranging from dementia, Alzheimer's, Parkinson’s, a variety of cardiac conditions, as well as diabetes, cancers and circulatory diseases. Various doctors are on call for home visits, as well as clinics and consultations. We offer palliative care and are able to provide dedicated carers for those who prefer their own.
In the pre-COVID-19 days, we had Reiki sessions, chair yoga, board games and other activities. There is a large communal dining hall, as well as a small library with a computer. We also have a hairdressing and barber’s salon.

Despite the reduced public interaction due to COVID-19, we still manage outings to the Aga Khan Sports Club. Presently our residents pray together as a community and join in all the programs offered on Ismaili TV.

Due to the current pandemic, we do practice social distancing, hourly cleaning rotas and staff that operate on 4 weekly rotations. All essential visitors are screened prior to entry and all deliveries are cleaned before being brought in. We try and ensure that all residents have either their own cell phones or easy access to a phone to keep in touch with their loved ones.
In addition to being able to care and provide for your loved ones, or yourself - Salama’t House provides for an independent, yet safe haven for the golden years.

As an able, professional community, we need to give and support in whichever way towards the few that would greatly need such an environment. Support can include donations of any kind -monetary, food, equipment, visits and phone calls – and are always welcome to help sustain Salama’t House and provide a safe, holistic haven for all, especially those in need.


If you would like to speak further about Salama’t House, on how to become a part of this wonderful place, please feel to reach out to us:
email po.swbnairobi@akji-kenya.org(link sends e-mail) or pdo.swbkenya@akji-kenya.org(link sends e-mail). +254 733720651 or +254 768 811515

For more detailed information on Salama’t House and becoming a resident, as well as donor information, click here https://the.ismaili/kenya/salamat-house-details .
kmaherali
Posts: 24596
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2003 3:01 pm

Post by kmaherali »

What are some frugal living tips for elderly people?

Being frugal when you already have a limited income will require some changes and that may be difficult for someone who is elderly. Just wanted to make sure you were aware of that.

But, having said that, let me give you my tips on being frugal.

- Downsize - it may be a tough decision but sometimes downsizing to a smaller place will put some money in the bank account and reduce your monthly expenses.

- Declutter - which, in this case, means get rid of stuff you don’t need or use anymore. Some items can be sold which will give you more dollars in the bank and others can be donated. Either way - reducing the amount of things you have in the house will allow you to live in a smaller space safer. This could mean furniture, clothing, automobile, knick knacks, etc.

- Shop frugally - Aldi’s is a store near me that has very low prices. If there’s a store like that near you - then make that your store.

- Grow your own vegetables - gardening is a wonderful activity for seniors and growing your own vegetables is a great way to feed yourself.

- Discounts - there are many discounts for seniors so find out what they are and take advantage of them. Look into AARP and other similar programs to find out if there are discounts there that would benefit you.

- Library - don’t buy books, instead get books and media from the library. You can also get these things at a thrift store as well.

- Thrift stores - I started shopping at thrift stores when I was in school as an Occupational Therapist and I still shop there. Can’t beat those prices.

- Make gifts or give homemade gifts (like cookies, sauces, etc.) instead of buying gifts for your friends and family.

- Review your expenses - Look at your expenses and see what you can cut down or out.

- Learn from others - Join or gather a group together to share ideas on how others are learning to live frugally.

I hope these tips help.

https://www.quora.com/
kmaherali
Posts: 24596
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2003 3:01 pm

Post by kmaherali »

S E N I O R C I T I Z E N S - 2021*

- When you get old, never teach anyone anything, unless requested, even if you are sure you are right.

- Do not try to help unless asked for. Just be ready & available for it if possible.

- Do not give unsolicited opinions all the time.

- Do not expect everyone to follow your opinion, even though you feel your opinion was the best...

- Don't impose yourself on anyone on any subject.

- Don't try to protect your loved ones from all the misfortunes of the World. Just love them & pray for them.

- Don't complain about your health, your neighbors, your retirement, your woes all the time.

- Don't expect gratitude from children.

- There are no ungrateful children, there are only stupid parents, who expect gratitude from their children.

- Don't waste your last money on anti-age treatments. It's useless.

- Better spend it on a trip. It's always worth it.

- Take care of your spouse, even if he/she becomes a wrinkled, helpless and moody old person. Don't forget he/she was once young, good looking and cheerful, may be he/she is the only one who really needs you right now.

- Understand new technologies, obsessively follow the News, constantly study something new, a new skill, a new dish, a new indoor game, do not fall behind in time.

- Don't blame yourself for whatever happened to your life or to your children's lives, you did everything you could.

- Preserve your dignity & integrity in any situation, till the end.

- Do your best, my senior Peers. This is very important. Remember, you're still alive, someone needs you. Do your best & leave the rest to The Almighty.

- I guess some friends are already following these tips.
kmaherali
Posts: 24596
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2003 3:01 pm

Post by kmaherali »

Aging starts from the feet upwards !KEEP YOUR LEGS STRONG !!

- When we are old, our feet must always remain strong.

- When we gain ageing / grow aged, we should not be afraid of our hair turning grey (or) skin sagging (or) wrinkles.

- Among the signs of *longevity*, as summarized by the US Magazine
"Prevention", strong leg muscles are listed on the top, as the most important and essential one.

- If you do not move your legs for two weeks, your leg strength will decrease by 10 years.

- A study from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark found that both old and young, during the two weeks of *inactivity*, the legs muscle strength can weakened by a third which is equivalent to 20-30 years of ageing.

- As our leg muscles weaken, it will take a long time to recover, even if we do rehabilitation and exercises, later.

- Therefore, *regular exercise like walking, is very important*.

- The whole body weight/load remains and rest on the legs.

- The foot is a kind of *pillars*, bearing the weight of the human body.

- Interestingly, 50% of a person's bones and 50% of the muscles, are in the two legs.

- The largest and strongest joints and bones of the human body are also in the legs.

- "Strong bones, strong muscles, and flexible joints form the "Iron Triangle" that carries the most important load on the human body."

- 70% of human activity and burning of energy in one's life is done by the two feet.

- Do you know this? When a person is young, his *thighs have enough strengths, to lift a small car!*

- The *foot is the center of body locomotion*.

- Both the legs together have 50% of the nerves of the human body, 50% of the blood vessels and 50% of the blood flowing through them.

- It is the large circulatory network that connects the body.

- Only *when the feet are healthy then the convention current of blood flows,
smoothly, so people who have strong leg muscles will definitely have a _strong heart_*.

- *Aging starts from the feet upwards*.

- As a person gets older, the accuracy and speed of transmission of instructions between the brain and the legs decreases, unlike when a person is young.

- In addition, the so-called Bone Fertilizer Calcium will sooner or later be lost with the passage of time, making the elderly more prone to bone fractures.

- Bone fractures in the elderly can easily trigger a series of complications, especially fatal diseases such as brain thrombosis.

- Do you know that 15% of elderly patients will die within a year of a thigh-bone fracture.

- Exercising the legs, is never too late, even after the age of 60 years.

- Although our feet/legs will gradually age with time, exercising our feet/legs is a life-long task.

- Only by strengthening the legs, one can prevent further aging.

- Please walk for at least 30-40 minutes daily to ensure that your legs receive sufficient exercise and to ensure that your leg muscles remain healthy.

*U may like to share it with elderly friends and family members*.
kmaherali
Posts: 24596
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2003 3:01 pm

Post by kmaherali »

Original article in Portuguese translated into English: https://the.ismaili/portugal/dan%C3%A7a ... rpo-e-alma

Dance of Body and Soul

Image

Dance is one of the most suitable physical activities for seniors, because it activates physical movements, corrects body posture, stimulates cognitive skills such as concentration, memory, creativity and maintains emotional well-being.

english

We all have experienced and know the effects of positive and negative emotions on our behavior and our physical and mental well-being.
We often feel emotions about what is going on around us and with ourselves. Sometimes we feel joy, sometimes we feel sad, and sometimes we feel anger and fear.

We've all felt at some point “butterflies in the belly”, “chicken skin” or even “nerves on the skin”. These popular expressions clearly translate how emotions are felt at the physical level. But if some physical changes can benefit the proper functioning of our body, others, such as increased heart rate or intestinal dysregulation, can negatively influence our immune system and favor the entry of viruses and bacteria.

When we are doing “things” that we like, that give us satisfaction, we are also activating positive physiological reactions, which will influence the body's production of protective substances.

The opposite is also true, that is, when we do "things" that cause us discomfort and deep frustration/irritation, we are activating the excessive production of some substances that impair the functioning of our more sensitive organs, such as, for example, the intestine, the respiratory system, the cardiovascular system (or others).

For this reason, it is very important, especially for seniors, to balance their day-to-day activities with fun activities and good relationships, such as dancing, watching musical shows or participating in activities of artistic expression. In this way, we are ensuring a better physical and mental functioning.

Dance is one of the most suitable physical activities for seniors, because it activates physical movements, corrects body posture, stimulates cognitive skills such as concentration, memory (alignment of dance steps), creativity, and maintains emotional well-being.

Dancing is essentially allowing the body and soul to talk to the beat of the music.
kmaherali
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2003 3:01 pm

Post by kmaherali »

How Walking Can Build Up the Brain

Older men and women who walked for six months showed improvements in white matter and memory, while those who danced or did stretching exercises did not.


Exercise can freshen and renovate the white matter in our brains, potentially improving our ability to think and remember as we age, according to a new study of walking, dancing and brain health. It shows that white matter, which connects and supports the cells in our brains, remodels itself when people become more physically active. In those who remain sedentary, on the other hand, white matter tends to fray and shrink.

The findings underscore the dynamism of our brains and how they constantly transform themselves — for better and worse — in response to how we live and move.

The idea that adult brains can be malleable is a fairly recent finding, in scientific terms. Until the late 1990s, most researchers believed human brains were physically fixed and inflexible after early childhood. We were born, it was thought, with most of the brain cells we would ever have and could not make more. In this scenario, the structure and function of our brains would only decline with age.

But science advanced, thankfully, and revised that gloomy forecast. Complex studies using specialized dyes to identify newborn cells indicated that some parts of our brains create neurons deep into adulthood, a process known as neurogenesis. Follow-up studies then established that exercise amplifies neurogenesis. When rodents run, for example, they pump out three or four times as many new brain cells as inactive animals, while in people, beginning a program of regular exercise leads to greater brain volume. In essence, this research shows, our brains retain lifelong plasticity, changing as we do, including in response to how we exercise.

More...

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/14/well ... 778d3e6de3
kmaherali
Posts: 24596
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2003 3:01 pm

Post by kmaherali »

A True Fountain Of Youth

Hi Karim,

Humankind has always sought to prolong youth, questing for elixirs and mythical fountains since time immemorial.

Nowadays, we know there are proven, powerful ways to extend youth and sustain well-being as we age -- and you don't have to scour the ends of the earth in order to find them.

Like most things in life, it's all about getting reliable, fact-based information from people you can trust.

That's why I decided to sign on as a speaker for this year's Younger Longer - Insider's Health Summit https://theartofantiaging.com/younger-l ... yljtrailer, where myself and many other truth seekers will dive into the secrets of living a long and healthy life.

The creator of this event, Brian Vaszily, is one of the best interviewers I've ever met and the knowledge he's assembled here is going to blow you away.

Click here https://theartofantiaging.com/younger-l ... yljtrailer to check it out

The Younger Longer Summit features a group of 22 renowned anti-aging doctors and researchers who will each share their deep, impassioned knowledge of anti-aging.

Brian challenged each of the speakers in the summit to answer one MISSION-CRITICAL question:

"From your unique area of expertise, what are the 3 simple and MOST effective steps that people must take to look and feel their best right now, avoid and possibly even overcome disease, and live long and well while doing it?"

That's it -- no fluff, just transformative facts from trusted experts that you can instantly implement in your own life as you begin your anti-aging journey.

Watch the trailer here https://theartofantiaging.com/younger-l ... yljtrailer

What I love most about Brian is that he's all about outcomes. He's organized this summit to be as easy and effective as possible -- so you can gain expert anti-aging knowledge to apply in your own life. If you've been searching for a clear roadmap to learn super-simple steps that will boost your health, happiness, and longevity, then this event is ideal for you.

It's wonderful to be young, but your elder years can - and should - be the greatest years of your life... brimming with great health, vitality, and deeper meaning.

As the legendary motivational thinker Wayne Dyer taught -- you don't have to "think old." Instead of programming yourself with the belief that decline and break down is inevitable, you can empower yourself to embody the art of anti-aging.

https://www.thesacredscience.com/younger-longer-2021

Stay curious,

Nick Polizzi
Host of Proven: Healing Breakthroughs Backed By Science
& Founder of The Sacred Science
kmaherali
Posts: 24596
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2003 3:01 pm

Post by kmaherali »

Nobody Wants to Live in a Nursing Home. Something’s Got to Give.

Few people dream of living out their golden years in a nursing home. The very idea sparks existential dread in many Americans, conjuring images of grim, institutional dumping grounds where society’s frailest and most vulnerable members aren’t so much cared for as warehoused. Scattered horror stories of neglect and abuse supercharge more prosaic fears about losing one’s autonomy.

The coronavirus pandemic made things all the more terrifying, tearing through facilities with brutal efficiency. The official Covid-19 death toll in U.S. nursing homes stands at more than 133,000, accounting for more than 1 in 5 of the nation’s pandemic fatalities.

Even prepandemic, most Americans said they wanted to age at home — 76 percent of those 50 and older, according to a 2018 survey by the AARP. The vast majority — over 90 percent of those 65 and older — are already doing just that. Looking to ease the strain this can put on families, President Biden has called for a $400 billion investment in home- and community-based care. Experts cheer the effort as crucial to addressing the challenges of America’s fast-graying population, a trend fueled by better medical care, longer life spans and a flood of aging baby boomers.

But the need for institutional care will not vanish. The United States had around 15,600 nursing homes serving 1.3 million residents, most 65 or older, as of 2015-2016 (the most recent data available). Even with additional resources, many seniors will require more support than can be provided at home. And the demographics are daunting: The number of Americans age 85 and older is expected to top 19 million by 2050.

American nursing homes are creatures of the last century. They sprang up in the 1930s as a gentler alternative to poor houses and later proliferated thanks to various government programs. As the name suggests, they take a highly medicalized approach to aging, and, by design, are reminiscent of hospitals.

Improvements in home-based care, including telemedicine, are enabling more people to remain at home longer. Assisted living and continuing-care communities are springing up, offering elaborate care, especially for more affluent seniors. This leaves traditional nursing homes as the province of the poorest and sickest — those with few other options.

More...

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/01/opin ... 778d3e6de3
kmaherali
Posts: 24596
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2003 3:01 pm

Post by kmaherali »

Getting Old Is a Crisis More and More Americans Can’t Afford

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Growing old is an increasingly expensive privilege often requiring supports and services that, whether provided at home or in a facility, can overwhelm all but the wealthiest seniors. With Americans living longer and aging baby boomers flooding the system, the financial strain is becoming unsustainable.

Consider the demographics. In 2018, there were 52.4 million Americans age 65 or older and 6.5 million 85 or older. By 2040, those numbers will hit 80.8 million and 14.4 million, respectively. From now until 2030, an average of 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 every day. Already, demand for care dwarfs supply. The Medicaid waiting list for home-based assistance has an average wait time of more than three years.

Next, factor in the financial reality of seniors. Nearly half of U.S. households headed by someone 55 or older have no retirement savings, according to 2016 data. Many Americans over 65 face trying to get by on Social Security income alone, which provides an average retirement benefit of $18,516 a year.

Compare this with the price of long-term care. Nationwide, the median cost of a semiprivate room in a nursing home is more than $93,000 a year, according to the 2020 Genworth Cost of Care Survey. The median yearly cost of employing a home health aide full time is around $50,000. And tens of millions of Americans are providing unpaid care to family members, costing the caregiver thousands in expenses per year on top of lost work time and wages.

More...

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/09/opin ... 778d3e6de3
kmaherali
Posts: 24596
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2003 3:01 pm

Post by kmaherali »

How to Enjoy Retirement Without Going Broke

The problem of decumulation is a tricky one, even for Nobel Prize-winning economists.


I’ve been asking readers to suggest ideas, and I got this one last week from Jerry Moskowitz of Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.: “I teach a class for seniors called Keeping Current in Economics and Finance. An interesting subject may be decumulation — how to successfully spend money in retirement.”

Excellent idea, Jerry. Accumulating money for retirement is hard, but decumulating it is tricky, too. Even the experts have trouble saying how to pace your spending so you can enjoy retirement without exhausting your savings before you die. You can’t know for sure how long you’ll live, whether you’ll suffer a costly illness or how markets will perform.

“It’s really nasty. It’s the nastiest, hardest problem I’ve ever looked at,” William Sharpe, who won a Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1990 for his work on financial economics theory, told Barry Ritholtz, a Bloomberg View columnist, in a 2017 podcast. Sharpe added, “I can’t say I’ve found some magic solution, because I haven’t.” (His solution is posted, free, on the Stanford University website. Beware: It’s mathy.)

Decumulation isn’t just a tough financial problem. It can be an emotional strain to flip a switch from saving to dissaving.

I can’t do this topic justice in one newsletter, but for starters, here are three choices that everyone who’s retired or thinking about retiring has to make:

Do you keep your spending steady and allow the assets in your portfolio to fluctuate, or do you do the opposite — keep your portfolio steady and allow your spending to fluctuate?

Both choices have drawbacks. Let’s say you want to keep your spending steady to maintain a stable lifestyle but, right when you retire, the market has a few bad years in a row. The spending level that you chose, which seemed reasonable when you retired, will be too much for your shrunken portfolio to sustain. Your assets will shrink far faster than you intended, and you will run out of money.

Or let’s say you choose instead to keep your portfolio steady or shrinking at a slow and steady pace. That means that when the market goes down, you’ll have to cut back how much you pull out of the portfolio to avoid draining it too quickly. That could be a problem if you need the money to pay bills.

A good choice is to come down somewhere between the two. Try to keep your lifestyle fairly stable, but bow to reality and cut back at least a bit in years when your portfolio is down.

Do you keep a big nest egg, or do you convert your savings into a stream of monthly checks?

The smart but psychologically difficult choice is to at least partly annuitize — that is, buy a financial product that provides a monthly income. When you buy a life annuity, the seller takes on the risk that you will live to age 110. That’s a big load off your mind. What makes it hard on your psyche is that to get a decent-size annuity, you have to turn over a big chunk of your life savings to the seller, usually an insurance company. “The purchaser has to write a big check to get a series of small checks, which may simply look like a bad deal to a naïve consumer,” Shlomo Benartzi, Alessandro Previtero and Richard H. Thaler wrote in The Journal of Economic Perspectives in 2011.

To get over the mental threshold, think about how relieved you’ll be to have income for life. Or cut the cost by buying a deferred annuity that kicks in at, say, age 80. Social Security is a fantastic annuity that’s provided by the government, and you should try to maximize how much you get from it. One smart strategy is to use up some of your nest egg to cover your costs until age 70 and start drawing Social Security checks only then. By waiting, you will get bigger monthly checks.

Research shows that people who convert their nest eggs into predictable monthly checks have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their bloodstream, says Teresa Ghilarducci, an economist at the New School for Social Research. The rap on annuities is that they have high fees, but competition has benefited consumers. Quality has gone up, and costs have come down.

How much risk do you take?

Keeping your money in stocks gives you more potential but also more risk. For most people, especially younger retirees, some exposure to stocks makes sense. But grasping for high returns to compensate for years of undersaving is unwise. Do you lose sleep when the market plunges — or, worse, sell your shares and lock in big losses? Then you’d be better off in something safer. Also, adjust your asset allocation as you age. “As people get older, security is much more important to them than almost anything else,” says Ghilarducci.

As Sharpe said, these aren’t easy decisions. Annamaria Lusardi, an expert on personal finance at George Washington University School of Business, says that in her research, “I kept being surprised by how little people know.” For many people, she says, finance is a foreign language. “We have shifted so much of the decision making onto individuals,” she told me. “In finance, ignorance is not bliss.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/27/opin ... 778d3e6de3
kmaherali
Posts: 24596
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2003 3:01 pm

Post by kmaherali »

7 Anti-Aging Secrets From Ancient India

Hi Karim,

As far as I know, the elixir of immortality and the fountain of youth haven't quite been discovered yet.

But gosh... there is an awful LOT we can do to preserve that wonderful vital energy and sparkling quality we call "youthfulness" well into our golden years. I'm talking about your late 70s, 80s and maybe even 90s.

A remarkable secret to preserving this vitality lies in the powerful practice of Ayurveda.

Ayurveda (meaning "knowledge of life") is an ancient medicinal system with roots in India that is still practiced all over the world.

It's foundations lie in the interconnected nature of the body, mind, and spirit, and it's practices include tools and techniques that help you regain balance in these areas and thus, help the body rid itself of disease.

Since Ayurveda is a healing system - not a lone practice or remedy - I've put together my short list of 7 Ayurvedic Practices for Lifelong Vitality.

These are a few of my favorite Ayurvedic techniques for staying healthy, fit, clear, and happily energized throughout life.

I love these practices because they are all simple and easy. Not a single complicated one in the bunch. But boy, do they work!

You'll recognize some of these...

Click here to continue reading this on our blog

https://www.thesacredscience.com/7-anti ... ient-india

Scientific Secrets To Aging Gracefully

Understanding the body is part of taking control of the aging process.

Dr. Ron Rosedale has an incredible masterclass, hosted by my good friend Stefan Apostolov, that explores everything from aging myths to lifestyle choices to a powerful youth enzyme that could be the key to longevity.

This FREE masterclass is packed with really cool information and can help you rest easy if things like Alzheimer's, osteoporosis, cancer or even wrinkles are worrying you.

It's never too late to awaken the body's natural youthful energy!

Our body's are quite incredible - if we treat them right :)

Don't miss this great opportunity to learn some tips, tricks, and secrets to aging gracefully.

Click here to sign up now

https://zonia.com/masterclass-jv#TSS

Stay curious,

Nick Polizzi
Host of Proven: Healing Breakthroughs Backed By Science
& Founder of The Sacred Science
kmaherali
Posts: 24596
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2003 3:01 pm

Post by kmaherali »

Foundation Stone-Laying Ceremony For Senior Living Facility

Image

Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVVzMlSjWHA
kmaherali
Posts: 24596
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2003 3:01 pm

Post by kmaherali »

I Just Turned 60, but I Still Feel 22

NASHVILLE — I was already in college before I finally understood that my entire life had overlapped with second-wave feminism, a force that transformed American culture without so much as registering on a certain young woman in Alabama. All my life I had been stepping through open doors, it turned out, blithely unaware of the vision and sacrifice and passionate persistence of the women who had opened those doors for me.

Once I understood that, I also understood that I wouldn’t want to have landed on this planet a single moment earlier than I did.

A woman born in Lower Alabama in 1961 has little use for nostalgia. Go back to the “good old days” when women were limited to professions like education or nursing and little else? Back to a time when the opportunities available to Black and brown people, and to Black and brown women especially, were even more profoundly limited? No, thank you very much.

The only trouble with being born in 1961 is that in 2021 you will turn 60, something I did last week. It’s very strange to persist in feeling 22, even as every mirror — and every storefront window and polished elevator door — reveals the truth. Sixty is the point at which people must admit they are no longer middle-aged.

Lately it’s been dawning on me that I would not want to have been born even one minute later than 1961, either. Last week I mentioned this new thought to a friend, and her response was immediate, as though she’d already had it herself: “Because we won’t have to live through the cataclysm?”

Exactly.

Well, no, not exactly. On the days when headlines are full, yet again, with firestorms and catastrophic flooding and biodiversity collapse and endless pandemic and a depressingly effective disinformation campaign to deny the climate emergency — on those days, yes. Absolutely yes. On those days I am glad to be 60 because it means I almost certainly won’t live to witness the cataclysm that is coming if humanity cannot change its ways in time.

But that’s not the way I think on most days. On most days I am simply grateful for the 60 years I’ve had.

The joking birthday cards that start coming at 40 were funny 20 years ago because they were so far from reality. Now they’re funny because they’re so true. One of the cards I got last week featured a vintage photograph of plump women in swimsuits who looked remarkably like me in my swimsuit. “At your age, swimming can be dangerous,” the card read. “Lifeguards don’t try as hard.”

I laughed so hard my belly jiggled, a feature of being 60 that troubles me only a little. This is just who I am now, a person who looks exactly like her late mother, despite far more exercise and a far healthier diet. Besides, I loved my mother, and I love seeing her again in every store window I pass.

I feel lucky to have gotten to 60 despite a genetic propensity for cancer; despite the lingering effects of Covid, which will apparently dog me for the rest of my life; despite having survived other infections — strep, pneumonia — that might have killed me if not for the pure luck of being born after the invention of antibiotics. Many infectious diseases that used to kill people by the millions I never even had to worry about because I was lucky enough to have been born after the widespread availability of vaccines.

Sorrow in the face of aging would be a poor response to such good fortune.

Thanks to that immense, unwarranted luck, I have lived long enough to be surrounded by the truest possible friends. Sixty years have given me time to learn that true friendship comes not from proximity — attending the same schools or belonging to the same church or having children the same age or voting for the same political candidates. Friendship is forged across time, through good fortune and tragedy alike, and true friends are those who keep on loving one another even when it isn’t convenient, and even when they don’t always agree.

I have lived long enough to have learned, too, that what is beautiful and joyful is almost always fleeting and must never be squandered. That rejection rarely bears any relationship to worth. That whatever else might separate us, sharing a love for “Ted Lasso” is enough common ground to start the harder conversations. That life is too short to wear uncomfortable shoes.

These are the same lessons the pandemic ought to have taught us, a life-and-death recognition of what truly matters. I can still hardly believe it did not.

Maybe wisdom is just too much to ask of a culture in the grip of collective trauma. Maybe wisdom can be acquired only with time, even if time by itself is no guarantee. “Thou shouldst not have been old till thou hadst been wise,” the Fool tells King Lear. So might he say to many of the old men now holding public office, and even more loudly to those no longer in office but still desperate to pull the levers of power.

A lifelong friend, one who will also turn 60 this year, sent me an email on my birthday. Her message contained a passage from “The Flower,” a poem by George Herbert: “Grief melts away / Like snow in May, / As if there were no such cold thing. / Who would have thought my shriveled heart / Could have recovered greenness?”

Who would have thought, indeed? But given enough time, we do go on, somehow. Like the stems and branches of springtime, our shriveled hearts can recover greenness, too. “And now in age I bud again,” Herbert wrote, and so it is with us.

With so many disasters upon us, calamity after calamity after calamity, a sentiment like that might sound like wishful thinking. And yet the accumulating decades almost always offer proof that fear and darkness do pass in time. Proof that hard work can open doors so wide it later seems as though they had never been closed.

It is a great blessing and also a great curse that the hard work of a single generation can wipe out the widespread memory of lack, of pain, but mainly it is a blessing. It means that even now, all is not yet lost. The decades can teach us that, too.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/01/opin ... 778d3e6de3
kmaherali
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Post by kmaherali »

Want to live to 150?

Dear Karim,

Eat your vegetables…


Walk 10,000 steps per day…


Get 8 hours of sleep at night…


Drink your water…


Nobody is going to say that’s not good advice. It’s all part of a healthy lifestyle to help you live longer and better.


Unfortunately, it’s ignoring the MOST IMPORTANT component of a long and healthy life.


What’s the secret to actually living to 100+ in a body you can still happily get around in? Cellular health.


Keeping our cells healthy is a matter of cellular regeneration and stem cell growth.


Thankfully, doctors and scientists from all over the world have been using peptides to advance cellular regeneration for decades!


And now you can steal their secrets.


Join me at the FREE Peptide Summit happening December 7 – 14, 2021.
https://peptide.drsummits.com/reg/?ref=f19c


I can’t wait to see you there!


Much love & health,

Stefan
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Post by kmaherali »

The Secrets to Successful Aging in 2022

Advice from Well’s most popular stories of the year.


Image

Looking for ways to grow old gracefully? Over the past year, Well’s columnists have reported on how to keep your mind and body healthy over time. Here are some of their top insights from the most popular stories published in 2021.

1. For successful aging, recognize one’s issues and adapt accordingly.

So said Jane Brody, our Personal Health columnist, after she turned 80 this spring. Inspired by Steven Petrow’s book, “Stupid Things I Won’t Do When I Get Old,” Ms. Brody took an inventory of her own life and decided what she no longer needed to do (color her hair; talk about aches and pains to anyone who will listen) and what she is unwilling to give up (walking her dog in the woods). “Sooner or later, we all must recognize what is no longer possible and find alternatives,” Ms. Brody wrote. In her case, that has meant giving up ice skating, but still taking 10-mile bike rides.

Read the full story:
How to Age Gracefully https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/13/well ... pe=Article

2. The more your gut microbiome changes, the better.

You may be able to predict your likelihood of living a long life by analyzing the trillions of bacteria, viruses and fungi that inhabit your intestinal tract, Anahad O’Connor reported, citing a promising study.

The findings suggest that a gut microbiome that continually transforms as you get older is a sign of healthy aging. “People who had the most changes in their microbial compositions tended to have better health and longer life spans,” Mr. O’Connor wrote. “They had higher vitamin D levels and lower levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood. They needed fewer medications, and they had better physical health, with faster walking speeds and greater mobility.”

Read the full story:
A Changing Gut Microbiome May Predict How Well You Age https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/18/well ... pe=Article

3. ‘Cognitive Super-Agers’ may hold clues to how we can keep our brains in shape.

Ms. Brody reported on a study out of the Netherlands that focused on “cognitive super-agers” — people who approach the end of the human life span with brains that function as if they were 30 years younger. By studying centenarians, researchers hope to identify reliable characteristics and develop treatments that would result in healthy cognitive aging for most of us. Meanwhile, Ms. Brody reported, there is much we can do now to keep our brains in tiptop condition. These centenarians tend to maintain good vision and hearing, and past research has revealed lifestyle factors that contribute to resilience such as obtaining a high level of quality education; holding occupations that deal with complex facts and data; consuming a Mediterranean-style diet; engaging in leisure activities; socializing with other people; and exercising regularly, Ms. Brody wrote.

Read the full story:
The Secrets of ‘Cognitive Super-Agers’ https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/21/well ... pe=Article

4. The sweet spot for longevity lies around 7,000 steps a day (or 30 minutes of exercise).

To increase our chances for a long life, we probably should take at least 7,000 steps a day or engage in sports such as tennis, cycling, swimming, jogging or badminton for more than 2.5 hours per week, Gretchen Reynolds reported, based on two large studies.

Accumulate and measure your activities “in whatever way works for you,” a professor who led one of the studies told Ms. Reynolds. “Step counting may work well for someone who does not have the time to fit in a longer bout of exercise. But if a single bout of exercise fits best with your lifestyle and motivations, that is great as well. The idea is just to move more.”

Read the full story:
How Much Exercise Do We Need to Live Longer? https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/15/well ... pe=Article

5. Older couples are thriving while ‘living apart together.’

Older people are increasingly partnering and re-partnering in various forms, Francine Russo wrote, but for women in particular, there’s a fear “that a romantic attachment in later life will shortly lead to full-time caregiving.” One solution may be living apart together (L.A.T.), meaning you can maintain a long-term committed romantic relationship without sharing, or intending to share, a home.

“I have friends who say they never want to meet anybody unless they’re 10 or 15 years younger, because they see it as having to move in and be the sole caretaker,” one 81-year-old woman practicing “living apart together” told Ms. Russo. “I wasn’t about to do that. I think I have the best of two worlds.”

Read the full story:
Older Singles Have Found a New Way to Partner Up: Living Apart https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/16/well ... pe=Article

6. Dr. Fauci has a few aging tips, too.

Who better to share tips for aging well than an 81-year-old who has dedicated his career to public health? Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, who has led the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for 37 years spoke to Ms. Brody when she joined the octogenarian’s club this year about staying fit and focused. His tips:

Take care of yourself, get some reasonable sleep, don’t get overcome by stress, a good diet. Enjoy life, but don’t do things in excess. Exercise is really important. I think that the fact that I’ve been a marathon and 10K runner for the last multiple decades has been very important in my staying fit, looking fit and feeling fit.

Listen to the full conversation:
Jane Brody and Dr. Anthony Fauci on Staying Fit and Focused at 80 https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/20/well ... pe=Article

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/31/well ... 778d3e6de3
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Post by kmaherali »

Can you think yourself young?

Research shows that a positive attitude to ageing can lead to a longer, healthier life, while negative beliefs can have hugely detrimental effects

David Robson
Sun 2 Jan 2022 12.00 GMT

For more than a decade, Paddy Jones has been wowing audiences across the world with her salsa dancing. She came to fame on the Spanish talent show Tú Sí Que Vales (You’re Worth It) in 2009 and has since found success in the UK, through Britain’s Got Talent; in Germany, on Das Supertalent; in Argentina, on the dancing show Bailando; and in Italy, where she performed at the Sanremo music festival in 2018 alongside the band Lo Stato Sociale.

Jones also happens to be in her mid-80s, making her the world’s oldest acrobatic salsa dancer, according to Guinness World Records. Growing up in the UK, Jones had been a keen dancer and had performed professionally before she married her husband, David, at 22 and had four children. It was only in retirement that she began dancing again – to widespread acclaim. “I don’t plead my age because I don’t feel 80 or act it,” Jones told an interviewer in 2014.

According to a wealth of research that now spans five decades, we would all do well to embrace the same attitude – since it can act as a potent elixir of life. People who see the ageing process as a potential for personal growth tend to enjoy much better health into their 70s, 80s and 90s than people who associate ageing with helplessness and decline, differences that are reflected in their cells’ biological ageing and their overall life span.

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Salsa dancer Paddy Jones, centre. Photograph: Alberto Terenghi/IPA/Shutterstock

Of all the claims I have investigated for my new book on the mind-body connection, the idea that our thoughts could shape our ageing and longevity was by far the most surprising. The science, however, turns out to be incredibly robust. “There’s just such a solid base of literature now,” says Prof Allyson Brothers at Colorado State University. “There are different labs in different countries using different measurements and different statistical approaches and yet the answer is always the same.”

If I could turn back time

The first hints that our thoughts and expectations could either accelerate or decelerate the ageing process came from a remarkable experiment by the psychologist Ellen Langer at Harvard University.

In 1979, she asked a group of 70- and 80-year-olds to complete various cognitive and physical tests, before taking them to a week-long retreat at a nearby monastery that had been redecorated in the style of the late 1950s. Everything at the location, from the magazines in the living room to the music playing on the radio and the films available to watch, was carefully chosen for historical accuracy.

If you believe that you are frail and helpless, small difficulties will start to feel more threatening

The researchers asked the participants to live as if it were 1959. They had to write a biography of themselves for that era in the present tense and they were told to act as independently as possible. (They were discouraged from asking for help to carry their belongings to their room, for example.) The researchers also organised twice-daily discussions in which the participants had to talk about the political and sporting events of 1959 as if they were currently in progress – without talking about events since that point. The aim was to evoke their younger selves through all these associations.

To create a comparison, the researchers ran a second retreat a week later with a new set of participants. While factors such as the decor, diet and social contact remained the same, these participants were asked to reminisce about the past, without overtly acting as if they were reliving that period.

Most of the participants showed some improvements from the baseline tests to the after-retreat ones, but it was those in the first group, who had more fully immersed themselves in the world of 1959, who saw the greatest benefits. Sixty-three per cent made a significant gain on the cognitive tests, for example, compared to just 44% in the control condition. Their vision became sharper, their joints more flexible and their hands more dextrous, as some of the inflammation from their arthritis receded.

Quick Guide
What is your age mindset?

As enticing as these findings might seem, Langer’s was based on a very small sample size. Extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence and the idea that our mindset could somehow influence our physical ageing is about as extraordinary as scientific theories come.

Becca Levy, at the Yale School of Public Health, has been leading the way to provide that proof. In one of her earliest – and most eye-catching – papers, she examined data from the Ohio Longitudinal Study of Aging and Retirement that examined more than 1,000 participants since 1975.

The participants’ average age at the start of the survey was 63 years old and soon after joining they were asked to give their views on ageing. For example, they were asked to rate their agreement with the statement: “As you get older, you are less useful”. Quite astonishingly, Levy found the average person with a more positive attitude lived on for 22.6 years after the study commenced, while the average person with poorer interpretations of ageing survived for just 15 years. That link remained even after Levy had controlled for their actual health status at the start of the survey, as well as other known risk factors, such as socioeconomic status or feelings of loneliness, which could influence longevity.

The implications of the finding are as remarkable today as they were in 2002, when the study was first published. “If a previously unidentified virus was found to diminish life expectancy by over seven years, considerable effort would probably be devoted to identifying the cause and implementing a remedy,” Levy and her colleagues wrote. “In the present case, one of the likely causes is known: societally sanctioned denigration of the aged.”

Later studies have since reinforced the link between people’s expectations and their physical ageing, while dismissing some of the more obvious – and less interesting – explanations. You might expect that people’s attitudes would reflect their decline rather than contribute to the degeneration, for example. Yet many people will endorse certain ageist beliefs, such as the idea that “old people are helpless”, long before they should have started experiencing age-related disability themselves. And Levy has found that those kinds of views, expressed in people’s mid-30s, can predict their subsequent risk of cardiovascular disease up to 38 years later.

The most recent findings suggest that age beliefs may play a key role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Tracking 4,765 participants over four years, the researchers found that positive expectations of ageing halved the risk of developing the disease, compared to those who saw old age as an inevitable period of decline. Astonishingly, this was even true of people who carried a harmful variant of the APOE gene, which is known to render people more susceptible to the disease. The positive mindset can counteract an inherited misfortune, protecting against the build-up of the toxic plaques and neuronal loss that characterise the disease.

How could this be?

Behaviour is undoubtedly important. If you associate age with frailty and disability, you may be less likely to exercise as you get older and that lack of activity is certainly going to increase your predisposition to many illnesses, including heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

Our culture is saturated with messages that reinforce the damaging age beliefs. Just consider greetings cards

Importantly, however, our age beliefs can also have a direct effect on our physiology. Elderly people who have been primed with negative age stereotypes tend to have higher systolic blood pressure in response to challenges, while those who have seen positive stereotypes demonstrate a more muted reaction. This makes sense: if you believe that you are frail and helpless, small difficulties will start to feel more threatening. Over the long term, this heightened stress response increases levels of the hormone cortisol and bodily inflammation, which could both raise the risk of ill health.

The consequences can even be seen within the nuclei of the individual cells, where our genetic blueprint is stored. Our genes are wrapped tightly in each cell’s chromosomes, which have tiny protective caps, called telomeres, which keep the DNA stable and stop it from becoming frayed and damaged. Telomeres tend to shorten as we age and this reduces their protective abilities and can cause the cell to malfunction. In people with negative age beliefs, that process seems to be accelerated - their cells look biologically older. In those with the positive attitudes, it is much slower - their cells look younger.

For many scientists, the link between age beliefs and long-term health and longevity is practically beyond doubt. “It’s now very well established,” says Dr David Weiss, who studies the psychology of ageing at Martin-Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg in Germany. And it has critical implications for people of all generations.

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Birthday cards sent to Captain Tom Moore for his 100th birthday – many cards for older people have a less respectful tone. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Our culture is saturated with messages that reinforce the damaging age beliefs. Just consider greetings cards, which commonly play on of images depicting confused and forgetful older people. “The other day, I went to buy a happy 70th birthday card for a friend and I couldn’t find a single one that wasn’t a joke,” says Martha Boudreau, the chief communications officer of AARP, a special interest group (formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons) that focuses on the issues of over-50s.

She would like to see greater awareness – and intolerance – of age stereotypes, in much the same way that people now show greater sensitivity to sexism and racism. “Celebrities, thought leaders and influencers need to step forward,” says Boudreau.

In the meantime, we can try to rethink our perceptions of our own ageing. Various studies show that our mindsets are malleable. By learning to reject fatalistic beliefs and appreciate some of the positive changes that come with age, we may avoid the amplified stress responses that arise from exposure to negative stereotypes and we may be more motivated to exercise our bodies and minds and to embrace new challenges.

We could all, in other words, learn to live like Paddy Jones.

When I interviewed Jones, she was careful to emphasise the potential role of luck in her good health. But she agrees that many people have needlessly pessimistic views of their capabilities, over what could be their golden years, and encourages them to question the supposed limits. “If you feel there’s something you want to do, and it inspires you, try it!” she told me. “And if you find you can’t do it, then look for something else you can achieve.”

Whatever our current age, that’s surely a winning attitude that will set us up for greater health and happiness for decades to come.

This is an edited extract from The Expectation Effect: How your Mindset Can Transform Your Life by David Robson, published by Canongate on 6 January (£18.99). To support the Guardian and Observer order your copy at guardianbookshop.com. Delivery charges may apply

https://www.theguardian.com/science/202 ... psychology
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Post by kmaherali »

What the ‘Active Grandparent Hypothesis’ Can Tell Us About Aging Well

The need for healthy, active grandparents who can help with child-rearing may be encoded in our genes.


Why is physical activity so good for us as we age? According to a novel new theory about exercise, evolution and aging, the answer lies, in part, in our ancestral need for grandparents.

The theory, called the “Active Grandparent Hypothesis” and detailed in a recent editorial in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that in the early days of our species, hunter-gatherers who lived past their childbearing years could pitch in and provide extra sustenance and succor to their grandchildren, helping those descendants survive. The theory also makes the case that it was physical activity that helped hunter-gatherers survive long enough to become grandparents — an idea that has potential relevance for us today, because it may explain why exercise is good for us in the first place.

Most of us probably think we already know why we should exercise. We have ample evidence that physical activity of almost any kind improves heart health, reduces the risks and severity of multiple diseases and in many ways just makes us feel better.

But those benefits explain how exercise is good for us, “not why,” said Daniel Lieberman, an evolutionary biologist at Harvard University and the lead author of the editorial. Dr. Lieberman, an authority on the role of physical activity in human evolution, was an author of a seminal 2004 study in Nature about the role of distance running in human evolution that helped to spawn the barefoot running movement. He is also the author of the 2021 book “Exercised.”

Recently, he began to wonder why moving seems to have such a different impact on us compared to other primates. Studies by Dr. Lieberman and others have found that wild and captive apes typically walk for fewer than two miles a day, less than the average American adult, who walks about two-and-a-half miles a day, and far less than modern hunter-gatherers, such as the Hadza of Tanzania, who often cover six miles or more a day.

But despite this relative languor, apes rarely develop the kinds of disorders tied to inactivity in humans, such as heart disease, arthritis and diabetes. They manage to remain healthy without much activity, while we generally cannot.

On the other hand, we typically outlive apes and most other mammals. Hunter-gatherers, whose life spans are thought to mimic those of our forebears, often live well into their 70s (provided they survive early childhood). This is well past the age of childbearing, at least for women, which is unusual in nature.

A famous 1998 paper, also published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, proposed that women evolved to live well past menopause to help ensure that successive generations thrive. This idea, known as the Grandmother Theory and widely accepted by anthropologists today, describes how mothers provide food and care to their children and then, when their children have children, help to feed and care for those babies, ensuring the success of future generations.

But Dr. Lieberman and his colleagues felt the Grandmother Theory left some questions unanswered about what it was that allowed humans to live so long, compared to most other species. That’s where physical activity came in.

Early humans had to move around often to hunt for food, the thinking goes, and those who moved the most and found the most food were likeliest to survive. Over eons, this process led to the selection of genes that were optimized by plentiful physical activity. Physical activity likewise appears to jump-start various cell processes controlled by genes that help to promote health. In this way, evolution favored the most active tribespeople, who tended to live the longest and could then step in to help with the grandchildren, furthering active families’ survival.

In other words, exercise is good for us, they point out in their new paper, because long ago, the youngest and most vulnerable humans needed grandparents, and those grandparents needed to be vigorous and mobile to help keep the grandkids nourished.

Crucially, the new Active Grandparents paper also delves into what it is about physical activity that makes it still so necessary for healthy aging today. For one thing, moving around uses up energy that might otherwise be stored as fat, which, in excess, can contribute to diseases of modern living, such as Type 2 diabetes, Dr. Lieberman and his co-authors write.

Activity also sets off a cascade of effects that strengthen us. “Exercise is a kind of stress,” Dr. Lieberman told me. It slightly tears muscles and strains blood vessels and organs. In response, a large body of exercise science shows, our bodies initiate a variety of cellular mechanisms that fix the tears and strains and, in most cases, overbuild the affected parts. “It’s as if you spill coffee on the floor, clean it up, and your floor winds up cleaner than it was,” Dr. Lieberman said. This interior overreaction probably is especially important when we are older, he continued. Without exercise and the accompanying repairs, then, aging human bodies work less well. We wear down. We cannot care for the grandkids.

Fundamentally, Dr. Lieberman said, lack of exercise during aging explains why there is a difference between the human life span — how many years we live — and health span — how many of those years we remain in generally good health.

“They used to be the same thing,” Dr. Lieberman said. An inactive early human would not stay healthy and probably die early. Today, many of us can remain inactive and survive into old age, but the chances are we will not remain fully healthy if we do. Our genetic inheritance and history as humans require exercise and movement, Dr. Lieberman said. “Retirement is not the time to slow down.”

This idea that we can, should and even must stay active as we age, thanks to human evolution, is at the heart of the Active Grandparent Hypothesis. Beguiling as the hypothesis is, however, it is just a theory and almost impossible to test.


And some experts question some of its assumptions. The Active Grandparent Hypothesis does not differentiate between men and women, said Kristen Hawkes, a distinguished professor of anthropology at the University of Utah who was the primary author of the Grandmother Theory. She pointed out that her group’s original research about longevity and grandparents focused on grandmothers, after the childbearing years. Grandfathers can procreate deep into old age, so their roles in extended families and their evolutionary history would be different than those of grandmothers, she said.

The hypothesis also suggests that physical activity affects people in ways that may be unique to humans. “But physical activity helps improve health span in other species, like mice,” said Michael Gurven, an anthropologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who studies biology and evolution and is working on a book about longevity in hunter-gatherers. Still, he said, “There’s no doubt habitual physical activity can improve health. I like how this paper doesn’t take that fact for granted, but instead focuses on the simple question: Why?”

The answer Dr. Lieberman and his co-authors settled on is worth keeping in mind as 2022 ripens and we add more months and years to our lives. “We’ve been selected” through evolution to be active, Dr. Lieberman said. And being physically active may help to ensure “the span of our good health matches the span of our lives.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/02/well ... s_decay_96
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Re: THE ELDERLY

Post by kmaherali »

THE LAST LEG - An interesting read❕

🔹 Most of us are now in the last quarter of our life and should read this interesting piece of advice.

This is one of the nicest and most gentle articles I’ve read in a while: no politics, no religion and no racial issues - just food for thought❕

You know, time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years.

It seems just yesterday that I was young and embarking on my new life. Yet in a way, it seems like years ago, and I wonder where all the years went.

I know that I lived them all❕

I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams.

However, here it is. The last quarter of my life and it catches me by surprise.

How did I get here so fast?

Where did the years go and where did my youth go?

I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that I was only on the first quarter and that the fourth quarter was so far off that I could not visualise it or imagine fully what it would be like.

Yet, here it is. My friends are retired and getting grey - they move slower and I see an older person now. Some are in better and some worse shape than me but I see the great change.

They’re not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant. But like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we'd become❕

Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day and taking a nap is not a treat anymore. It's mandatory because if I don't, of my own free will, I fall asleep where I sit.

And so, now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did. But at least I know that, though I’m on the last quarter and I'm not sure how long it will last, that when it's over on this earth, it's over. A new adventure will begin!

Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn't done; things I should have done but truly there are many things I'm happy to have done. It's all in a lifetime❕

So, if you're not on the last quarter yet, let me remind you that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life do it quickly. Don't put things off too long. Life goes by so quickly.

So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether you're in the last quarter or not, most importantly, how long it will last❔

You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of life. So, live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember - and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the past years.

‘Life’ is a gift to you.
Be Happy❕
Have a great day❕

Remember, it is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.

You may think: Going out is good - but coming home is better!

You forget names - but it's okay because some people forgot they even knew you!

You realize you're never going to be really good at anything like golf - but you like the outdoors!

The things you used to care to do, you aren't as interested in anymore - but you really don't care that you aren't as interested.

You sleep better on a lounge chair with the TV on than in bed – you call it ‘pre-sleep’❕

You miss the days when everything worked with just an ‘On’ and ‘Off’ switch!

You tend to use more 4 letter words – ‘what’ and ‘when’❕

You have lots of clothes in your wardrobe, more than half of which you will never wear – but just in case!

Old is good -
• Old is comfortable
• Old is safe
• Old songs
• Old movies
• …… and best of all,
• Friends of old!

So, stay well, ‘Old friend!’
Have a fantastic day!
Have an awesome quarter – whichever one you’re in!
Take care❕

*It's not what you gather but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived❕*
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Here’s Where Our Minds Sharpen in Old Age

Post by kmaherali »

Fluid intelligence has several aspects, and aging affects them differently.

Image
There are ways we get smarter with age, even in the domain of fluid intelligence. Photo Illustration by meboonstudio / Shutterstock

Many have noted that the big contenders in the last two American presidential elections were well into their 70s, raising questions of the mental capacity, going forward, of these potential leaders. “Starting after middle age, say around 60 or so, memory and other abilities decline,” says Dilip Jeste, professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at UC San Diego and director of the UCSD Center for Healthy Aging. But what actually declines—and what abilities might improve, as well as when, how, and at what speed—is a complex issue.

It turns out, according to a new study in Nature Human Behavior, that many things improve with age, including some cognitive aspects that had previously been thought to get worse. John Verssimo, of the University of Lisbon, and his colleagues, looked at a large sample of people between the ages of 58 and 98 and measured their performance on a broad range of cognitive tasks to get a more detailed picture of cognitive aging. They controlled for participants’ sex and education, as well as declines in general thinking speed, motor control, and perception, and found some surprising and hopeful results.

The broad strokes of the traditional thinking on lifespan psychology is that people improve in all kinds of cognition until their early 20s. After that, “fluid” intelligence, which includes thinking about new things, thinking quickly, and abstract reasoning, gradually declines until the end of life. “Crystalized” intelligence, on the other hand, which is characterized by wisdom, knowledge, and expertise at things one practices often, continues to improve with age, but with slower returns as we get older. This continues into your 70s, after which things begin to decline.

But, as cognitive psychologists have suggested, some of the aspects of fluid intelligence, such as attention, can be broken down into component parts—like alerting, orienting, and executive control. Alerting covers one’s vigilance and preparedness for responding to information coming in. This is important for driving, for example. Orienting is one’s ability to select some perceptual information over others based on what’s important. Executive control refers to one’s ability to inhibit all the information that orienting deemed unimportant, such as the conversations at other tables in a restaurant. These abilities are somewhat independent, and even involve different neural substrates. “Given that these attention/executive functions show neurocognitive differentiation,” Verssimo and his colleagues write, “we suggest that they may also show distinct susceptibilities to aging.”

Does age affect fluid intelligence broadly, as has been traditionally believed? Or, given that these components are anatomically distinct, might aging affect each one differently?

To find out, Verssimo and his colleagues used a common measurement tool, the Attention Network Test, which provides individual scores for alerting, orientation, and executive function. As expected, older people are slower in general, as measured by their response time in the task (how fast they hit a button in response to something on the screen), at the rate of an average increase of 6.3 milliseconds per additional year of age. But there were differences in the components: alerting got worse with increasing age but orienting, and the ability to inhibit irrelevant information, got better. There are ways we get smarter with age, even in the domain of fluid intelligence.

“Thus, our findings, together with other data, argue against theories positing general age-related declines in attention and executive function,” the researchers write. “[E]ven though aging is widely viewed as leading to cognitive declines, it in fact yields multifaceted outcomes, including a range of benefits.”

Many decisions a president has to make require careful thought, and the important decisions never need to be made so fast that milliseconds make a difference. These days, presidents don’t even drive themselves. And given that age tends to increase abilities in vocabulary, language comprehension, reading others’ emotions, and knowledge, perhaps American candidates being in their 70s shouldn’t worry us too much. At least as far as brain power goes.

Jim Davies is a professor at the Department of Cognitive Science at Carleton University. He is co-host of the award-winning podcast Minding the Brain. His new book is Being the Person Your Dog Thinks You Are: The Science of a Better You.

https://nautil.us/heres-where-our-minds ... -age-9944/
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A Daily Aspirin Regimen May Hurt More Than Help, Experts Warn

Post by kmaherali »

Millions of Americans take aspirin to prevent a first heart attack or stroke. Now, doctors are advising against it — especially for people over 70.

Image
A panel of experts reviewing data on a daily aspirin regimen to prevent heart attacks found that the net benefit for most Americans is very small and that the practice can carry real risks.Credit...John Crowe/Alamy

Regina Griffith was 64 when she met her new primary care doctor for a routine checkup. He recommended a daily low-dose aspirin for heart health, she recalled.

It’s hard to be more fit than Ms. Griffith, the owner and chief instructor at a fitness studio in Montclair, N.J. She had a slightly elevated blood pressure at the doctor’s office (but not at home, using her own cuff); other than that, she had no significant health problems.

Still, a daily aspirin didn’t seem like a big deal, and the doctor did not mention any downsides, so she took his advice. “I thought, ‘OK, I’m at a certain age,’” Ms. Griffith said. “It didn’t sound scary to take aspirin.”

Millions of older Americans do likewise, and not always because of a doctor’s recommendation. Alan Turner, 64, an industrial designer in New Castle, Del., began taking aspirin on his own about five years ago, after his mother had several strokes. “I saw what that did to her,” he said. He had heard of other people his age taking prophylactic aspirin, so he “just went with it,” he said. “How much damage can you do with a baby aspirin a day?”

Good question. For three decades, the United States Preventive Services Task Force, an independent and influential panel of experts, has been reviewing the growing evidence of aspirin use for preventing first heart attacks and strokes.

Last month, it issued its latest recommendations on aspirin use, the first in six years. The panel warned adults over 60 against starting an aspirin regimen for primary prevention.

“It carries possible serious harms” — notably, an increased risk of internal bleeding, said Dr. John Wong, a task force member. “And those harms are higher than we thought in 2016.” Dr. Wong is a primary care doctor and interim chief scientific officer at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

“Primary prevention” refers to patients who have never had a heart attack or stroke and do not have heart disease. (High blood pressure, or hypertension, is not considered heart disease.) That group is the task force’s focus.

People taking aspirin for secondary prevention — because they have already had a heart attack, stroke or intervention like stenting or bypass surgery — face higher risk of subsequent cardiovascular events, and aspirin might remain part of their treatment.

For adults aged 40 to 59, the net benefit of taking aspirin daily would be small, the task force concluded. They may choose to start a daily aspirin regimen if, based on widely used health calculators, they face a 10 percent or higher risk for cardiovascular disease over the next decade, but that should be an individual decision.

It will take time for these new cautions to trickle down to the public. About one-third of Americans over 40 already take aspirin, a 2019 study found. Among those over 70, more than 45 percent take aspirin for primary prevention, probably representing significant overuse.

“Many people don’t even think of aspirin as medication, they think of it as more like a vitamin,” said Dr. Amit Khera, the director of preventive cardiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. “But just because it’s over-the-counter, doesn’t mean it’s not a drug with benefits and risks.”

In 2019, Dr. Khera helped develop similar guidelines for the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association, which recommended against routine aspirin use for primary prevention in people over 70. The American Geriatrics Society’s Beers Criteria, a list of medications considered inappropriate for older patients, is also considering recommending that “most older adults” avoid starting aspirin for primary prevention.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s position on aspirin use for prevention has seesawed over the decades, noted Dr. Allan Brett, an internist at the University of Colorado, in a JAMA editorial accompanying the new guidelines. The task force initially recommended in 1989 that patients consider aspirin, then backed off, calling the evidence insufficient. It encouraged preventive aspirin for many adults in 2009 but had grown more skeptical by 2016.

What has changed this time around? Three large, rigorous clinical trials published in 2018, following more than 47,000 older patients, “really highlighted the risks,” Dr. Khera said.

Dr. Wong added: “Two didn’t find any significant reductions in heart attack or stroke, but there was an increased risk of bleeding.” The third clinical trial, which was limited to people with diabetes, a higher-risk group, found a small reduction in cardiovascular events — but with a higher bleeding risk. “The harm canceled out the benefit,” Dr. Wong said.

The bleeding in question usually occurs in the gastrointestinal tract but can also include brain bleeds and hemorrhagic strokes. Although the risks are low — major bleeding occurred in 1 percent or fewer of older people taking aspirin in the 2018 studies — they increase with age. “These are serious bleeds,” Dr. Brett said. “They can require transfusions. They can put people in the hospital.”

With the advent of other effective advances in preventing heart attacks and strokes — better blood pressure drugs, statins for lowering cholesterol, a reduction in smoking — the role for aspirin has narrowed, experts said.

For people over 60, per the task force guidelines, or 70, per the cardiologists’ recommendations, the risks of starting aspirin now outweigh the benefits. This is particularly true for people with a history of bleeding, say from ulcers or aneurysms, or those taking medications like blood thinners, steroids or anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen or naproxen.

The 2016 task force recommendation raised the possibility that aspirin might play a role in preventing colon cancer. But, Dr. Wong said, “we’re no longer confident aspirin provides benefit for colorectal cancer. We don’t have enough evidence. We’re calling for more research.”

The task force had frustratingly little to say, however, about people over 60 stopping aspirin if they have already begun taking it for primary prevention. It mentioned that people should consider stopping at about age 75 because any benefit would diminish with age, but it also said patients should not discontinue aspirin without talking to a health care professional.

“There’s no urgency,” Dr. Khera said. “Put this on the agenda of things to discuss” at an upcoming appointment. But, he added, “for people generally healthy, with few risk factors, it’s reasonable to just stop.” Dr. Brett said he had been cautioning patients against routine aspirin use since 2018.

Ms. Griffith, now 65, recently saw a different doctor in her new primary care practice. The doctor looked at her chart, which showed no heart disease and more than a year of aspirin use.

“He said, ‘I don’t think you need to do that,’” she said.

Ms. Griffith had already begun to question the practice and had cut back to an aspirin every other day. Now, she’s going to stop.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/21/heal ... 778d3e6de3
kmaherali
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Nanima's and Nanabapa's Kitchen

Post by kmaherali »

As received

Ya Ali Madad,

My name is Fauzya Alarakhiya and I am a newly published Ismaili Children's author from Toronto. I am so excited to share with you that my first book, "Nanima's and Nanabapa's Kitchen" is on Amazon Canada's Best Sellers in Islamic Children's Fiction List and on the Friesen Press Best Sellers list.

The book is available through many outlets and book stores around the world (It is coming to Chapters/Indigo this week! and can be ordered with free delivery through Amazon Prime)

"Nanima's and Nanabapa's Kitchen" is an Ismaili children's story that captures the traditional role of family, faith, food and fun.

It's the weekend, which means it's time to visit Nanima and Nanabapa! Hooray! The children are always happy to visit their grandparents. There's so much good food to eat: samosas, mogo, biryani, kokotende, thepla, and even mandazi!

As the children cook with their grandparents, Nanima and Nanabapa teach them about more than just the ingredients needed to make a delicious meal: they also learn how to live a life of faith. Why is attending Jamatkhana so important? How do we follow Sirat al-Mustaqeem? What does it mean to have iman? Together, Nanima and Nanabapa help the children uncover the answers to these questions-and more!

This story, this dream had its beginnings when my own trio of "blessings"
yearned for more stories, and so..I began telling
and making up stories that mattered to them where they saw themselves, their culture, their faith, their family and the values to holdfast to.

"Nanima's and Nanabapa's Kitchen" will Inshallah
be the first in a series of culturally relevant
stories for Ismaili children looking to find their voice and sense of self in the ever changing world around them. I hope it instills a strong connection within my own children, nephews and
nieces and yours, by fostering an awareness of
who they are and who they aspire to be, all whilst
teaching them to see the magnificence of the
"light" that abundantly surrounds them each and
every day.

A portion of all book sales will be donated to the
Aga Khan Foundation.

Please visit my linktree to purchase a copy of "Nanima's and Nanabapa's Kitchen" and share with friends and families who will fall in love with this labour of love ❤️

https://linktr.ee/fauzya.alarakhiya?utm ... a39e13e4fc
kmaherali
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The Ultimate Healthy Aging and Longevity Summit starts tomorrow

Post by kmaherali »

NOW, IT’S PERSONAL: The Ultimate Healthy Aging and Longevity Summit starts tomorrow — and you’re invited, Friend!

>> Find out more, and claim your complimentary spot, right here https://theartofantiaging.com/now-its-p ... 8241&jb=37.

Natural health advocate and researcher Brian Vaszily will broadcast interviews with 21 healthy aging and longevity doctors and researchers (from a range of backgrounds) — including my dad and colleague, John Robbins.

Brian is going to ask each guest to share the three most important healthy aging and longevity tactics that they use personally in their own lives.

You’ll find out about simple, proven, and effective natural steps you can take to look and feel your best, avoid and possibly even overcome disease, and live long and well doing it.

And it all starts tomorrow.

>> Don’t miss out — join in right here https://theartofantiaging.com/now-its-p ... 8241&jb=37.

Yours for vibrant health at every age and stage of life,

Ocean Robbins
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Re: THE ELDERLY

Post by kmaherali »

Gentlemen and women, get up!

The director of the George Washington University School of Medicine argues that the brain of an older person is much more practical than is commonly believed. At this age, the interaction of the right and left hemispheres of the brain becomes harmonious, which expands our creative possibilities. That is why among people over 60 years of age you can find many personalities who have just started their creative activities.

Of course, the brain is no longer as fast as it was in youth. However, it gains in flexibility. Therefore, with age, we are more likely to make the right decisions and are less exposed to negative emotions. The peak of human intellectual activity occurs around the age of 70 when the brain begins to function at full strength.

Over time, the amount of myelin in the brain increases, a substance that facilitates the rapid passage of signals between neurons. Due to this, intellectual abilities increase by 300% compared to the average.

Also interesting is the fact that after 60 years, a person can use 2 hemispheres at the same time. This allows you to solve much more complex problems.

Professor Monchi Uri, from the University of Montreal, believes that the old man's brain chooses the path that consumes less energy, eliminates the unnecessary and leaves only the right options to solve the problem. A study was conducted involving different age groups. Young people were very confused when passing the tests, while those over 60 years of age made the right decisions.

Now, let's look at the characteristics of the brain between the ages of 60 and 80. They are really pink.

*CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BRAIN OF AN ELDERLY PERSON.*

1. Neurons in the brain do not die, as everyone around you says. The connections between them simply disappear if one does not engage in mental work.

2. Distraction and forgetfulness arise due to an overabundance of information. Therefore, it is not necessary for you to concentrate your whole life on unnecessary trifles.

3. From the age of 60, a person, when making decisions, does not use one hemisphere at the same time, as young people, but both.

4. Conclusion: if a person leads a healthy lifestyle, moves, has viable physical activity and is fully mentally active, intellectual abilities do NOT decrease with age, they simply GROW, reaching a peak at the age of 80-90 years.

So do not be afraid of old age. Strive to develop intellectually. Learn new crafts, make music, learn to play musical instruments, paint pictures! Dance! Take an interest in life, meet and communicate with friends, plan for the future, travel as best you can. Do not forget to go to shops, cafes, shows. Don't shut up alone, it's destructive to anyone. Live with the thought: all good things are still ahead of me!

SOURCE: New England Journal of Medicine.

Very Important Message
Pass this information on to your family and friends in their 60s, 70s, and 80s so they can be proud of their age 😉😊😎
kmaherali
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Generations project breaks ground in Toronto

Post by kmaherali »

Image

Photos at:

https://the.ismaili/global/news/imamat- ... nd-toronto

Prince Amyn attended the groundbreaking ceremony today for Generations Toronto, a multi-generational housing development close to the Ismaili Centre in Toronto. Distinguished guests included Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Toronto’s Mayor John Tory and local and national leaders of the Jamat.

Based on a successful pilot project launched in Calgary during Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Golden Jubilee in 2007, Generations Toronto is a unique community campus that will offer services to bring together and support its residents and neighbours. Its fundamental premise is to enhance the value and dignity of human life.

In addition to 390 units of rental housing and a 122-bed long-term care facility, the complex will include an early childhood development centre, medical clinic offering primary and mental health care services, and spaces for cultural, social, and educational programming. It will also feature a community kitchen to offer daily low-cost meals for residents and seniors living in the surrounding area.

President of the Ismaili Council for Canada, Ameerally Kassim-Lakha, explained in his speech at the groundbreaking ceremony that affordable housing and care for seniors are “two of the most pressing issues” in Canada.

“Generations Toronto is our contribution to support Canadians,” he said. “The concept is rooted in core principles of Islam: to take good care of those in need and ensure that no one is left behind.”

The project provides the Jamat with access to spaces that facilitate intergenerational interaction and allow individuals to age with dignity. It is made possible by contributions from the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto.

Mayor Tory referred to Generations as a model project. “It creates that certainty that everyone can have a place in the city of Toronto to live and a place to be cared for,” he said.

Today’s groundbreaking in Toronto culminates many years of planning, and could pave the way for similar projects in other parts of the country.

“We’ve broken ground on an incredible project that will be another great pride for this province and for the Ismaili community,” said Premier Ford in his remarks. “This facility will allow people of all different ages, both residents and visitors the opportunity to engage with each other throughout the day.”

“We’re so fortunate to have such a strong and growing Ismaili community to help us build Ontario,” added Premier Ford. “On behalf of all Ontarians, I want to thank you.”

This year marks 50 years since Ismailis established a significant presence in Canada, many of whom emigrated to the country seeking refuge from instability in other parts of the world, with very little to their names beyond a drive to succeed.

Now a community of many thousands, Canadian Ismailis have since made immeasurable contributions in the areas of civil society, the economy, philanthropy, and the arts.

The groundbreaking ceremony of Generations Toronto is one of many exciting events taking place across the country this week coinciding with the milestone celebrations.

On September 25, Prince Amyn attended the ceremonial renaming of Toronto’s Wynford Drive to Aga Khan Boulevard and accepted the Key to the City on behalf of Mawlana Hazar Imam; tomorrow, in Edmonton, the University of Alberta will inaugurate the Diwan Pavilion at the Aga Khan Garden; and on September 29, the Ismaili Imamat will sign an accord with the Province of British Columbia committing to continued development efforts locally and globally.

https://the.ismaili/global/news/imamat- ... nd-toronto
kmaherali
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October 1st is International Day for Older Persons

Post by kmaherali »

An Interview with Laila Akber Cassum from Pakistan

BY SUJJAWAL AHMAD POSTED ON OCTOBER 1, 2022

October 1st is International Day for Older Persons. To highlight this day, Sujjawal Ahmad joins in conversation with Laila Akber Cassum from Aga Khan University, Pakistan who sheds light on the important role that the older population plays in society.

Sujjawal Ahmad (SA): Tell us a bit about yourself.

Laila Akber Cassum (LAC): Hello! My name is Laila Akber Cassum. I am working as a Senior Instructor and stream lead of the Geriatric and Gerontology clinical stream at Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery (AKU-SONAM). I have been associated with my Alma Mater since 1995. After completing my undergraduate and graduate nursing studies at AKU-SONAM, I worked as a Critical Care Nurse in Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and then pursued my career as a nurse educator. I have served the institution in various capacities such as Critical Care Nurse, Senior Instructor, Academic Lead of undergraduate program (Post RN Baccalaureate Program (PRN BScN) and Post RN Baccalaureate of Science in Midwifery (PRN BScM) ) and at present as Geriatric Clinical Stream Lead.

SA: What is the area of your research?

LAC: My interest areas particularly as a teacher may possibly have begun in my childhood while playing with dolls and teaching them on house walls using chalk and duster, and this passion for teaching got nurtured when I joined AKU-SONAM as a student. With the passage of time, these bugs kept metastasizing and this absolute dream of being an educator was accomplished when I entered this institution to train the future generation of nurses. This trajectory mutated into research with a particular interest in the domain of Blended Learning (BL) and Teaching Learning Pedagogies. When the pandemic led to the closure of educational campuses and suspension of traditional teaching and rapid migration to remote learning motivated me to research in this area. The finding will be published soon. Additionally, I have another extremely important research interest which is to work for the elderly population.

SA: What sparked your interest in the elderly population?

LAC: That’s an interesting question! So, let me share, Mawlana Hazar Imam’s grave concern for the aging population during the homage ceremony address on His Golden Jubilee as he stated,

“Life span is elongating, but at the same time working life is shortening. Family bonds are being loosened and sometimes even broken by the forces of modern life. The result is that many older [Ismailis] are facing unhappy and often, lonely years ahead. We must find ways to address this problem.”

And these words became the intrinsic motivation that heralded me to select this area for my graduate studies and research about the experiences of older adults who are institutionalized by their families which ultimately affects their quality of life. The findings of the paper have been published in an international high-impact factor journal and received appreciation at the international conference. It is very important to appreciate the magnitude of the concern that Hazar Imam wants us to focus on.

Globally, every two people celebrate their 60th birthday every second. One in nine persons in the world is aged 60 years and above, and these numbers are expected to grow to one in five by 2050. Pakistan is a developing country with more than 10 million older population and this number in the age band of 60 and beyond is estimated to be at 7 percent of the current population. With the hindsight of Imam’s guidance clearly mentioned back in 2007, the quality of life of this vulnerable cohort will be highly affected in the years to come.

Since my graduate studies, I have been working for Hazar Imam’s vision for the elderly population and am now in the capacity of geriatric clinical stream lead at AKU-SONAM. Other than this, I have also been working as the core member of the Technical Working Group (TWG) for Healthy Ageing created by the Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination, Government of Pakistan. The aim of this group is to develop a healthy aging policy and chalk out sustainable plans for its implementation.

SA: As this year’s theme of the International Day of Older Persons is “Resilience of Older Persons in a Changing World”, in your view, in what ways can older people contribute to the community and society in a broader sense?

LAC: In my opinion, the older population in our local context is contributing from multiple facets irrespective of being a bread earner to a housewife or a working woman. Aging members are the strong pillars of a family and in any community. They support their family by earning a living and household work, nurturing grandchildren, employed in agricultural fields to grow crops.

In the Pakistani context, older men are the income generators, decision-makers, and heads of the family. If we speak particularly for the women, they are also the informal caregivers to their sick spouses and children and carry the burden with strength, endurance, and resilience. Furthermore, they are not rightly paid what they deserve and struggle to accumulate savings, and the majority of them are not eligible for pensions. While these older and aging people continue to contribute to their family and community their assistance should be regarded and surfaced up. These older men and women are viable and productive members of society.

SA: What do you think about the positive impact your research can have on social development in the context of Pakistan?

LAC: In our context, research in the field of aging is still in its infancy as compared to resource-wealthy countries with sound economies. To assess the impact of my or any other research study in the arena of aging, it is imperative to comprehend that in Pakistan, elderly people are still considered to be the part of late adulthood phase of developmental stages of life. As per United Nations, 60 years and above is considered the age for progression into the elderly phase (United Nations, 1980) nevertheless, in high-income countries 65 years and above is the cutoff range for older people given by WHO (UNFPA, 2012). Therefore, the elderly are a group of people having entirely distinct physical, psychological, sociocultural, emotional, and economic needs, and hence their health care requirements are different and to have cared for.

Now, coming up to your question, my study explored the experiences of older people who were institutionalized. In other words, what were the conditions or reasons they had to relocate to shelter homes voluntarily or by force? In addition, how did they cope with the situations when they were undergoing such challenges? My study revealed both positive and negative experiences however substantial findings were largely undesirable. It discovered causes like lack of family support, dissolution of family systems, migration for better prospects and opportunities, and insensitive behavior of children nonetheless loneliness and powerlessness were highlighted significantly.

The positive impact on social development can be from the perspective that irrespective of the fact whether it was a forceful or voluntary decision to live in an old age home, if their needs grounded on Maslow’s Hierarchy are being met and the physical, and psychological spheres of health are in equilibrium they will be able to enjoy long life span and can contribute as a healthy and graceful aging member of the society. In old age, social inclusion is the key to health and physical and mental well-being and literature substantiates that it neutralizes loneliness and isolation and mental health issues like anxiety and depression, and are more likely to stay happy healthy, and valued.

SA: Tell us a bit about your early years at AKU-SONAM and how you think it has left a transformative impact on your career.

LAC: I have been associated with my Alma Mater since 1995 and the inspiration came from Mawlana Hazar Imam addressed to the first cohort of the nurse’s class of 1983 on February 16, 1981. “If you fail, I have failed. If you succeed, Pakistan will be rewarded”

These words were the steppingstone in my life. I believe that I was quite fortunate enough to be surrounded by highly professional mentors and their energy field enabled me to reflect, unlearn and re-learn certain attributes to inculcate in my personal and professional – self, allowing me to glow and grow. Initially studying and then being the part of teaching force of an institution, which is a trendsetter and pioneer of the profession of nursing in Pakistan and I am reaping the fruits of the seeds that Mawlana Hazar Imam sowed in the form of the Nursing profession. I feel so proud and fortunate of being a nurse and whatever I am today is all because of the knowledge, skills, and values that my mentors instilled in me enabling me to transform into an educator and growing researcher.

SA: What will be the advice you would like to give to the younger generation who aspire to pursue their career in Nursing?

LAC: I would strongly recommend the younger generation to take up their career in Nursing. Why I say this is that nurses are the true pillars of the healthcare industry. They are there when a baby takes the first breath and are there when the last breath is taken. Their attributes were evident during the COVID-19 pandemic that nurses were the front-line workers who gave comfort and compassion without any prescription. Nurses can perform diverse and countless roles such as caregivers in various specialties of hospitals, educators, policymakers, catalysts for change, team leaders, researchers, patients’ advocators, team leaders, counselors, specialists,s and many more. I vouch for more and more younger people joining this profession.

About Laila Akber Cassum
Image

Laila Akber Cassum is a nursing alumna of Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery (AKU-SONAM) and is associated with Aga Khan University since 1995. Her research interest areas are Teaching and Learning Pedagogies, Blended Learning, and Critical and Geriatric care. Presently, she is working as a Geriatric Stream lead at AKU-SONAM and is working for the mandate to reach out to the older population to assist them in aging gracefully.

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kmaherali
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Happy Elderly Care Day - A tribute to our seniors

Post by kmaherali »

Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecnTdLgS2dw

A tribute to our elderlty to celebrate the Intenational Elderly Day - October 2022
Vocals: Shaheena Karim and Celina Dhanani
Chorus: All the Elderly Care Members of the Portugal Jamat
Music: Raju Premi
Audio Mixing: Yasser Manji
Video credits: Daniel Faria
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