News Changing Me!

news changing me, coffee and paper

 

When we are exposed to a good piece of art, like a painting, music, or dance, it changes us. In the same way, news items also change us when we learn about it.

Here is Dr. Casciani's take on the latest news that impacts our living to 100.

Dr. Casciani's Newly-published Book, Living Longer IS the New Normal

June 1, 2020

For over 30 years, the author has worked as a psychologist with older adults, their families, and staff. In this book, he brings his experience and insights to defining ourselves as strong and resilient, and capable of seeing a positive future for ourselves. It offers inspiration about aging, and brings perspectives to the reader that help with living a long, healthy life, and knowing how to take control of our future regardless of health status. His belief is that living to 100 is a mindset more than anything, a metaphor for pushing ahead, encourages others to commit to moving forward no matter how many bumps encountered, and turn aging on its head.



Managing setbacks, strategies to increased longevity, where determination can take us, how exceptions can lift depression, and other topics are presented to help the reader see that living longer IS the new normal. Living longer, happier, and healthier is an outcome of what we tell ourselves about our future and how we cope with stressful events. Find the "me" in there that can maintain the motivation to get up every day and move forward.

Available as a paperback and Kindle e-Book.

 

The "Pledge of Interdependence" at OneShared.World 

May 6, 2020

I'm happy to alert our readers to the latest international movement that is unfolding to address common existential challenges - like pandemics, climate change, ecosystem destruction - and improve the lives of everyone on earth. It is a global democratic movement supported by citizens of 35 countries focusing on finding solutions to what is not working in our world. The aim is to demand that leaders of G7 and G20 adopt plans to enhance public health and defend vulnerable populations. If you share this vision, you can review the Pledge and sign the Declaration of Interdependence by going to the site, OneShared.World.

 

COVID Coach

23 April, 2020

A new phone app was developed by the National Center for PTSD at the VA as a resource during this public health crisis. It's easy to use, and has tabs for self-care tools, resources to support and crisis groups, and to referral agencies. It can be downloaded to an iPhone or Android system. It appears to be a useful, government-developed mobile app to help us better navigate through this difficult time.

Download here for iPhone: https://apps.apple.com/app/apple-store/id1504705038?pt=545860&ct=Providerlists&mt=8

Download here for Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gov.va.mobilehealth.ncptsd.covid

 

"Own Your Body" Summit

21 April, 2020

An online Summit was recently convened by 'Wellness Warrior' Debi Waldeck, that brought together over 20 experts on wellness to help people take charge of their own health, including Dr. Joe Casciani. The goal of the Own Your Body Summit is to give listeners more knowledge about the critical factors impacting our health and the common denominators behind disease. You can sign up here for the Summit, at no cost. You must register by May 4 to hear all of the speakers, who will be aired one per day. Joe's interview explored how we stay positive as we age, start new chapters, and tap into our inner motivation, determination, and creative spirit. Other experts discuss Thriving in Life with Autoimmune Disease, Reversing Chronic Child Health Conditions, Finding Your Sanctuary When In Pain, How to Slow Aging, and Mind-Body Practices to Balance Hormones. Set aside an hour a day to be more informed about creating health for yourself and your family. Register here.

Personal Comments on the Popular Refrain, "We're All in this Together"

16 April, 2020

We hear this phrase repeated time and again, from newscasters, public officials, politicians, and countless others. Proclaiming that “We are all in this together” is a way to stress the fact that everyone is suffering through the lock downs and social distancing, at least in those U.S. states and other countries that have implemented these measures, with the implication, of course, that no one is alone, and we will survive and recover from this pandemic together. But, every time I hear these words of support, I think of all of the people who must disagree. I wonder if they’re really saying to themselves “You have no idea what I’m ...       Read the entire article here.

Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 with These Important Steps

15 April, 2020

In the face of all of the suffering and death due to the Corona virus, we now have coyotes wandering through downtown San Francisco, wild turkeys in the streets of Boston, and an alligator walking down Main St. in a city in South Carolina. For the first time in two decades, there have been no shootings in schools in the U.S. And, smog levels are down markedly in cities in Asia, like Hong Kong and Beijing. But the threat of COVID-19 is still here. Take every precaution. The World Health Organization has published this short list of steps to take to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Click here.

 

Blue Zones Acquired by Adventist Health

13 April , 2020

As many of our Club listeners know, Blue Zones has been a major force in educating the public about successful aging and passing along the lessons for longevity after studying the lifestyle and dietary habits of centenarians around the world. One of the guests on our Radio show last fall was Dr. Nick Buettner, who shared the work and the vision of the Blue Zones team to bring these lifestyle habits to communities across the U.S. This is what we've learned: 

Lifestyle Factors Common to the Centenarians Living in the Blue Zones

* Move their bodies a lot – walking, chores, gardening, moving naturally and often

* Alcohol in moderation - drink alcohol moderately (maximum of 1-2 drinks/day)

* Social circles – social engagement, healthy social circle and network; social roles, family and neighbor connections; religious and spiritual or not, belonging to some community

* De-stress – having a lifelong purpose, devoting oneself to passion or a duty; stress reducing activities and lifestyle; positive outlook on their future and connected to their future

* Committed to families and friends – especially those who support healthy lifestyles

* Diet – diets composed of whole-plant foods: vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts; eat meat rarely (3-4 oz, and no more than 5x a month); grains, fruits, nuts and vegetables; no refined sugar; beans, corn, and squash; honey, wild greens; brown rice

* Enough sleep – 7 hours per night and occasional napping during the day

The Acquisition

Now, Adventist Health has acquired Blue Zones to continue this public health work, with an emphasis on saving millions of dollars in health care costs, as Blue Zones has already demonstrated in these U.S. cities. This is a "revolutionary move" by Adventist Health, according to its CEO, Scott Reiner, who believes the acquisition represents "the future of healthcare" with continued opportunities to improve the lives of individuals and communities, make health care more affordable, and in the tradition of Blue Zones, advance the health of entire cities by systematically improving their living environments. 

In my conversation with Nick Buettner, we agreed with my position that living to 100 is a by-product of making the right decisions and choices, and not a destination on its own. Making the right decisions, modifying our lifestyles, and staying positive about our future will allow us to stay as healthy and fit as possible, with more models now out there to follow . Congratulations to the Blue Zones organization, and kudos to Adventist Health for its foresight. 

Unsettling Times

1 April 2020

These are unsettling times. Everything we do is colored by this backdrop of a public health crisis, worldwide. It is very difficult to talk about successful aging and longevity when the threat of the COVID-19 virus is so virulent, and so threatening to our usual way of life. The numbers change every day, and many, many lives are being cut short, prematurely. Young and old, famous or not famous, patient or medical personnel, rich countries and poor countries – the virus knows no boundaries.

Some who have been infected and test positive for the virus are able to recover apparently because they have sufficient antibodies or some other means of resisting the virus. So many touching stories have surfaced, including Mr. P, a 101-year old man in Italy who was admitted to the hospital for the virus and discharged a week later, virus free. What makes this story so touching is that Mr. P. also survived the 1918 flu pandemic, which killed 600,000 of his countrymen, and survived a World War. There are, though, many sad stories. The saddest are those who died, and are continuing to die, without loved ones near by to give a final smile, a kiss, or a gentle wave. We’ve always known the two greatest fears of those near death are dying alone and dying in pain. We have to trust those special caregivers that they are taking whatever actions they can to assure the victims that they will not die alone, and will say good bye for the families who cannot.

The losses continue to mount in the long-term care facilities throughout the US. This population is especially vulnerable to severe cases of infection, with chronic conditions, compromised immune systems, and a strong likelihood of dying if infected. Nursing homes care for approximately 1.3 million Americans in the U.S. every day, and COVID-19 now presents a new and dangerous threat. The tens of thousands of staff members working in these settings are also at risk, complicating the conditions tenfold of an already difficult, demanding job.

We could go on. The millions now without a job, the schools and businesses closed, plans cancelled, large and small events postponed, financial systems in very unstable territory, and next, the prisons and other vulnerable populations demanding protection. Increased fears and anxieties – real and imagined – of becoming sick and dying, being alone, separated, or abandoned. Domestic violence is on the increase, exploitation is rearing its usual, ugly head, and how long will it be before we see the lawsuits and senseless acts of violence? It’s tempting to point fingers and start the blame game, and we know this will be front and center in weeks and months to come.

What Lies Ahead?

Experts are now saying it will be at least six months before we are back to normal. But, will we ever really get back to normal? Have we ever returned to what things were like before 9/11? Here are some thoughts on what will become the “new normal” going forward, after the acute threat of the COVID-19 virus lifts:

* Greater appreciation for many professions, including teaching, health care, hopefully those in long-term care, and public safety and risk management professionals

* Working and learning at home – the barriers to remote education and work activity are coming down

* Greater connectedness with distant friends and relatives, and more volunteerism in communities

* More usual shopping and other business done online, including food, clothing, home goods, and now, homes and cars (Amazon is hiring 100,000 new workers – as Wayne Gretsky said, “Skate to where the puck is going, not where it is”)

* Re-evaluating which people, events, and activities bring us the most meaning.

Closing

We always learn more from watching the process than from the content. How things unfold and develop are more important than actually what it is that unfolds. Stay safe, stay distant, and hang tough.

Recommended Resources

A very helpful resource based on recommendations from Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resources Center: COVID-19: Separating Facts from Fiction

For up-to-date facts on the incidence and management of COVID-19, visit the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resources Center, including their Interactive Map of global cases.