Aging The Way You Want To

Men and women don’t have to accept the problems of aging as a fait accompli.

There are ways to fight the aches and pains, the slowing down, the forgetting where you parked your car.

And the answer is not an expensive fountain of youth.

Many methods to fight aging are simple and free, according to Tim Juliano, Health Services Specialist with Northwest Health Connections.

Juliano will be the speaker at the next “Active Aging” education forum sponsored by the Warren/Forest Eldercare Council and LINK. The event will be held from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Thursday, May 15, at the Allegheny Community Center, 42 Clark St., Warren. No reservations are necessary to attend.

The council hosts quarterly forums to help educate the public on the many aspects of growing older. This program will focus on the “upside of aging,” Juliano said, how to combat some of the “normal” problems of aging.

“I talk about some of the things that tend to decline as we age,” Juliano explained. He will discuss issues with digestion, urinary incontinence and urinary tract infections, constipation, skin elasticity and skin tears. “We see changes in bone and muscle … arthritic changes, bone demineralization, osteoporosis, muscle atrophy, and that predisposes one to more falls and injuries.”

As one ages, there may be cognitive changes, but they don’t have to be debilitating, Juliano will explain.

“It’s normal to process information a little more slowly as we get older. It’s not normal to forget appointments and important dates,” Juliano said. “When you see that, it’s time to have a doctor check you out. There are medications that can slow the decline. There could be a million causes” of dementia.

As serious as all this seems, Juliano truly does take a look at the “upside,” instructing the aging to do many positive things including drinking a lot because hydration is really important.

“The body needs a lot of water,” Juliano said.

“Believe it or not, one of the best things older folks can do is lift weights,” Juliano added. Building muscle helps improve balance and coordination. Loosing fat helps with things like diabetes.

“The smaller the waistline, the less likelihood of developing diabetes,” he said.

Juliano encourages the aging to do Tai Chi.

“It improves balance. It improves focus,” he said. “It’s good for people who are recovering from strokes … because it makes you focus”

Juliano will also offer tips on handling stress.

Most importantly, Juliano said, he will offer tips on adding humor to life.

“There have been lots of tests and a lot of evidence that humor has a benefit physiologically,” Juliano explained. When patients are exposed to humor their blood counts even improve.

None of Juliano’s advice costs a lot of money, he explained. His tips are “things most anybody can do.”

Sue Himes, ACC/RSVP Community Development Director, encourages all older adults to attend “Active Aging” to get “tips to remain physically active, mentally alert and actually thrive during this stage of life,” she said.

“This is sure to be an entertaining and lively discussion about the process of aging,” Himes added “I encourage children of elderly parents, senior citizens, care givers and anyone working in the service community who works with older individuals to attend. Come with questions!”

Call the Allegheny Community Center for more information at 723-3237.