Do you have FOGO? According to the experts, FOGO is the fear of getting old, a common condition characterized by the expectation that growing older means losing vitality. One hundred years ago, a person could only expect to live into his or her mid 50’s. Today people can expect to live well into their 80’s, 90’s and beyond. This creates a new segment of society that has its own set of unique needs and aspirations. Doing things to stay healthy and enjoy life at every age and stage is both necessary and attainable.
Studies show that older adults thrive when given more autonomy and personal control over their lives, even when living in nursing homes, while those whose environments and activities were controlled by staff tended to decline , and were twice as likely to die younger when compared to their more empowered peers. Educating is often the first step towards healthier living.
But how about this? YOLO (you only live once), so throw FOGO out the window during September, which is National Healthy Aging Month! This is the perfect time to educate and motivate yourself and the older adults you love to establish healthy habits like moving around, staying connected to others and eating well.
A great place to start is to attend The Regional Health, Wellness and Safety Family Festival this Saturday, September 23, 2017, 9am to 1pm at the MAX in McCook. This is free for attendees. There will be a blood drive, vendors of all types from financial institutions to chiropractors to pet stores, cooking and fitness demos, a kid’s zone, teddy bear clinic, photo booth and more. There will be something for all ages. One of the highlights is our keynote speaker Stuart Breslow, a 9/11 survivor. Come to hear his moving story September 11, 2001: An Eyewitness Account. Vendors, there is still time to sign up and have a table to display your products and services and connect with the communities around you. Please contact the WSCCI for details. www.wscci.org
Blog author Joan O’Brien, RN, MSN serves on the West Suburban Chamber board and the Health Festival committee. Joan is the co-owner of Independence-4-Seniors Home Care. She is responsible for the assessment and coordination of home care services for our senior clients and manages our staff of caregivers. She has held clinical, management and educational positions at the University of Chicago Medical Center, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center and the University of Illinois, Chicago. Joan serves as a board member of the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, serves on the Aging Well Neighborhood Initiative with Aging Care Connections in LaGrange and chairs the community action team of Aging Well , for the towns of Hinsdale, Burr Ridge, Western Springs and Indian Head Park. Joan received her RN, BSN form Loyola University of Chicago and her MSN from Georgetown University of Nursing and Health Studies. Joan is a Registered Nurse licensed in the State of Illinois and A Certified Dementia Practitioner®.