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Bette Davis said it well: "Getting old is not for sissies", but fortunately for the rest of us Dr Debbie Wake is in The Hour studio to help us grow old gracefully.
No matter who we are — man, woman, rich or poor — we all grow old. But the pace and precise way it happens varies from person to person, depending on genetic and environmental factors. While someone’s genetic makeup plays a huge part in determining their life expectancy, the quality of health care received and a healthy lifestyle are significant contributors to longevity.
While an individual can age and remain healthy, some ailments like sight problems, hearing loss, arthritis, cancer and heart disease are directly linked to age-related change. Yet it isn’t all bad news.
Val Hamilton previously appeared on The Hour when she went through Boot Camp and suffers from diabetes. Since she was last on the show Val has lost weight and improved her fitness, and this has helped her control the disease.
“I started on three Metformintablets a day,” says Val, “Which most type 2 diabetes sufferers have, and I’m down to one and hopefully by the time I go back to be rechecked it’ll just be diet.”
Pat Flemming has arthritis in both her hips, but since she lost weight it has taken much of the strain off her joints. “I go to a gym now, daily, to help keep fit and keep moving because that’s what you’ve got to do with arthritis. It’s no use sitting back and accepting it, you have to keep mobile.”
Dr Debbie explains, “The secret is keeping yourself physically and mentally active, keeping your spirits up. Laughter is a really important thing. Getting out there laughing, it does much more than just help your emotions it also has effects physical on the body as well. It helps your immune system, it can prevent things like cancer.”
“Keeping your mind active is really important,” she adds. “You’ve got to remember your mind is like a muscle anywhere else in your body, if you don’t use it you lose it. Getting along to your health checks as well is important.”