Help Parents Age Well Into Old, Old Age

Tuesday’s NY Times always includes its Science Section and yesterday it presented Part 2 of Jane Brody’s Personal Health column focusing on people who aged well–those who have “extreme longevity.”

“Delaying Body Decline” and “A Supportive Environment” are two important factors (among others) in aging well, and are detailed in Dr. Lachs’s book Treat Me, Not My Age.  Rather than paraphrasing the column, here are the major points–after which click on the very informative link below.

The first factor addresses “delaying the date with immobility” due to loss of muscle strength. We are all born with a physiologic reserve–an excess capacity in organs and biological systems that we draw upon as we age. We then learn there are interventions we can take advantage of to prolong the physiologic reserve and help us remain physically independent longer.

The second factor, “Supportive Environment,” is not about the people who surround and care about an older person.  Rather it has to do with making certain adjustments–some of which I never thought/heard of–to head off potential accidents in older people’s homes. Being aware of these kinds of adjustments and compensating for them should help parents to age well in their homes for even longer.

Check out Jane Brody’s column for your parents and for yourself.  column http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/26/health/26brody.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=general