By Rick Banas of BMA Management, Ltd.
In a radio ad airing here in Illinois, three children are out trick-or-treating. Two are dressed in traditional Halloween costumes. The third is dressed as our National Debt, with IOUs pinned all over her clothing. Ghosts and witches are not real, she explains, whereas our national debt is. She talks about her fears of the impact that the national debt will have not only on children, but on all of us.
I heard the ad several times earlier this week as I was driving to our Cambridge House affordable assisted living community in Swansea, Illinois, to hear a presentation on the “History of Halloween.” Our Halloween traditions of dressing up in costumes, carving jack-o-lanterns, building bon-fires and trick-or-treating all have their roots in fear, explained Paul Wreford, the Dean of Liberal Arts at Southwestern Illinois College. People were scared of what they thought were evil spirits and took action.
To watch the presentation on the “History of Halloween,” start the playlist below.
The focus on fear in the radio ad and the discussion of how people took action because of fear in the presentation on the History of Halloween reminded me of the book recently written by David Fisher, M.D., the board-certified Gerontologist who hosted the “House Calls” radio program that BMA Management sponsored. One of the biggest fears among older adults and their adult children is a move to a nursing home. One of the most common comments I hear from the adult children of aging parents is that they cannot bear the thought of Mom or Dad having to move to “one of those places.”
The book written by Dr. Fisher is entitled
“How to Keep Mom (and Yourself) OUT OF a Nursing Home”. What I like best about the book is that it provides practical advice for all those who fear having to move to a nursing home.
His recommendations include . . .
Keep Moving – The loss of mobility can be devastating. An increased risk of falling, social isolation and the inability to maintain your home are just some of the consequences. Establishing a regular exercise program is essential. A half hour of aerobic exercise four times a week is an “excellent goal to set.”
Exercise Your Quads Daily – Your quadriceps muscles are the muscles that you primarily use to stand-up and sit-down. They also help with walking and balance. Maintaining strength in you quadriceps is essential to maintaining your independence.
Strengthen Your Bones – Calcium and Vitamin D are two key ingredients in bone health. Be sure you are getting an adequate supply of both. Be sure that your exercise program includes some form of weight bearing exercises.
Pay Attention to Your Heart and Blood Vessels – Monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol; incorporate fiber and add walnuts, almonds or pecans into your diet; eat tuna or salmon twice a week; & be sure you get seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
Dr. Fisher also highlights the importance of social interaction and maintaining a strong connection to the outside world. I am delighted that there are steps that you and I can take to help reduce the risk of needing nursing home care, and I agree with Dr. Fisher’s suggestion that we focus our time and resources on those activities that are mostly likely to have the greatest impact.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and let us know.
“BMA Management is the leading provider of affordable assisted living in Illinois
and one of the 20 largest providers of assisted living in the United States.”