I have just read an article "Tips for Staying Connected, Active and Healthy as You Age" by Robert Mirsky, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for Aetna Medicare, published on the web site BabyBoomers.com. I thought that this is very relevant to what I have been saying at our Social Events and the reason behind my pushing constantly to get you as members of the Toowong Tennis Old Dogs group to be involved in their web site which will allow you to be able to communicate better with each other.
A QUESTION TO YOU: How often do you communicate with members of the group other than on the day you play tennis? We have had members go under open heart surgery and we didn't even know until after the event and yet we now know that it was a very traumatic experience for them. Many of the members have been so called friends for many years and yet, do you know much about what is happening in their life at the present. I know of at least two members with very serious concerns at present, but how many members are aware. Your tennis mate may need your support at this stage in their life.
We do have the ideal vehicle to communicate, our website www.ToowongTennisOldDogs.com.au. It has for privacy concerns, a members only section, and you have to be approved to belong. But not all Old Dogs are members so if I want to communicate to all, very easily done through the website, I still have to go through the tedious old system of emails. I am prepared to assist everyone to set up their mobiles and their home computers to make this medium easy for you to communicate. All you have to do is make the time available. I am sure many of you have great holiday experiences and wonderful photos to prove so, so why not share your fun times, with the group. But also, your difficult times, I am sure there are members who would be interested enough to meet for a coffee and want to help, even if it is just to listen.
The article states: "We all know eating healthy and staying active are important to maintaining physical well-being. But sometimes we overlook how important staying socially connected is to our overall well-being — especially as we age. Believe it or not, social isolation can negatively impact your health as much as smoking 15 cigarettes a day (1).
While social connection is a critical determinant of health, it can be a significant issue for older adults. Older adults are particularly vulnerable to social isolation because their established relationships and communities may change over time. For example, their children grow up and move away or friends relocate, or they begin experiencing mobility issues. In fact, according to CVS Health’s Path to Better Health Study (2), 1 in 4 people aged 65 and older no longer have friends or family nearby and don’t know where to meet new people. The study also found that older adults start losing their motivation to be social."
Here are some tips to help you and your loved ones accomplish this.
1. Get Connected
An important way to address social isolation is to get connected. If you or your loved one wants to be more social, try to participate in new groups or activities you’ve previously enjoyed or have always wanted to try.
Use technology to reconnect with friends and family or to learn about local events. If you need help using a social media platform, see if your local library offers programs or lessons that can help. Just ask Bazza, he may be able to help.
2. Get Active
A good way to get active and meet (as well as stay connected with) new people is through group classes at your local gym or fitness center. (4) Fortunately, the Toowong Tennis Old Dogs have this covered with our tennis and have the opportunity to play a number of times a week if we so wish. I hope you would agree, that at present we are having some really great challenging but really enjoyable tennis. This I believe has been the result of the newer and sometimes younger members. We already know from previous blogs, how good tennis can be at keeping us healthy and alive longer.
Looking for other ways to get active and connected? Start by making a list of physical activities that you enjoy doing with others like hiking, aerobics or golf.
3. Get Healthy
Being healthy impacts your ability to be social and active.
As you continue in your health journey, remember to consider your total health. It is this author's hope that as you age, you continue to thrive — both at home and in your community — with reliable support that helps you feel safe and maintain a sense of purpose.
The author states "As a family physician, I’ve always considered social and emotional health, as well as the physical health of my patients. Now, as Chief Medical Officer for Aetna Medicare, I’m committed to supporting total health — body, mind and spirit — and helping seniors live the life they want to live at home and in their communities.