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Mindful of Medical Care

Aging is difficult to understand especially when you never gave it much thought until it crept up on you and you were there right dab in the middle of it. What Woody Allen said about death could just as well apply to dying, “I am not afraid of death. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” When a person enters their senior years, they begin to understand that aging is a major pain; literally and figuratively. The question arises “Is this my new life? The answer can be “No”. The suffering of old age is not inevitable. We can influence the effects of aging and maintain our current lifestyle.

As I enter my 80’s and experience the many challenges of what has been called, the second middle age, I learned I had to be very proactive about making lifestyle choices that would affect my health. Medical choices were as much about Prevention as acute care. I saw that there is even a different vocabulary about aging. We now hear that the new chronological age of OLD begins in the 80’s not the 60’s. A new danger of aging is that we may start acting old—not being old.

               THE PROCESS

Aging is now seen as influenced by personal decisions of what you will do with and to your body. The current scientific creed is that aging is a process that incorporates behavioral health decisions and as such we can make of it what we wish. The message being delivered is that the life span has increased because the diseases that have lowered that limit can be controlled through a behavioral health approach. Dementia, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and other diseases can be countered with proper preventive care. Aging is under our control and how we age is a matter of personal choice.

All these changes relative to our responsibility for our living and aging lead us to the most difficult conclusion. We can guide the process of health but we cannot do it without professional help. Due to the structure of the public health system, there are no programs that offer all the components that are necessary for an effective preventive program and are delivered in a manner that assured their use in the prescribed manner. Even if they did exist, they would be too expensive for the public health system to bear.

Dr. Peter Magaro, an acknowledged expert in the cognitive diseases related to aging, and the founder and  President of The Memory Treatment centers of America, has developed an integrated protocol for the treatment of cognitive decline which is now the recommended treatment in most assisted Living Facilities.

Memory Training and other life style activities such as exercise and nutrients are the behavioral methods applied to defeat age-related chronic diseases.

Aging is now understood as a behavioral choice acting upon a physical process and could become the central target of all treatments.

                  The Model

A comprehensive care model of treatment consequently must include non medical and medical procedures to forge an adequate treatment plan.