Living in a Drug-Centric Age
Age of the Boomer
Senior Living in a Drug-Centric Age
We are in a Boomer age, as Americans grow older the demographics shift to a more mature focus. Unfortunately, this focus also includes a dramatic rise in healthcare costs. Too many seniors and about-to-be seniors tend to be over-weight, sick and lethargic.
Following the Standard American Diet (SAD) often forces seniors into assisted living sooner than necessary. Everything from Heart Disease, Diabetes 2, Cancer, Arthritis, Alzheimer and other Lifestyle Diseases (meaning preventable) force too many senior citizens to seek assisted living because they can no longer care for themselves.
Today there are over 43 million adults aged 65 and older in the United States; by 2040, that number will rise to 79.7 million.1
- Seniors represent 13.7% of the United States population, about 1 in 7 Americans.
- Nearly 92% of older adults have at least one chronic condition, and 77% have at least two.
Many seniors are no long able to live independently due to disease and often due to the side effects of the numerous prescription medications they have been prescribed. Many of these prescriptions will interact unpredictably because of the complex mix and interaction of medications is virtually unpredictable; drug interaction issues have NEVER been tested, much less anticipated!
Seniors represent just over 13% of the population, but consume 40% of prescription drugs and 35% of all over the counter drugs.
Adverse drug reactions are among the top five greatest threats to the health of seniors.
- On average, individuals 65 to 69 years old take nearly 14 prescriptions per year.
- Individuals aged 80 to 84 take an average of 18 prescriptions per year.
- 15% to 25% of drug use in seniors is considered unnecessary or otherwise inappropriate.
- Adverse drug reactions and noncompliance are responsible for 28% of hospitalizations of the elderly.
- 36% of all reported adverse drug reactions involve an elderly individual.
- Each year 32,000 seniors suffer hip fractures caused by medication-related problems.
The truly tragic thing is that much of the disease and many/most of the prescription drugs prescribed may be unnecessary. Yep, no need, not required, no thanks!
- How is this possible?
- Why don't the doctors know about this?
- Why do doctors prescribe so many medications?
- How can I prevent early onset of disease?
Most of these 'senior diseases' are due to horrendous nutrition: fast food, soda, sugar, lack of fiber in the diet, and overly processed food. There is little to no Whole Food, Vegetables, Nuts, Seeds and FIBER in the typical Senior Living diet. Even the best of nursing homes fail miserably to provide actual Delicious meals that will induce seniors to eat well.
Food is often overcooked and unseasoned so looks and tastes much like mush or cardboard. The people who prepare the menu often have no idea what they are doing. As we age, our taste-buds can deteriorate as many of the other senses are numbed; again often due to the depressed immune system directly related to the lousy SAD.
Unfortunately and often directly related to drugs and medications, taste buds and smell seem to deteriorate over time. I know my father lost all sense of taste due to chemotherapy treatments for his prostate cancer! He love food but when he could no longer taste/smell his meals (no matter how delicious) he ceased to be interested in eating.
With older people, it may be necessary to spice thing up and “Kick It Up a Notch”3 Adding extra garlic and some spices can not only increase the appetite and encourage better nutrition but many of the seasonings, spices and condiments have amazing health benefits, in addition to helping food taste Delicious!
What Can We Do?
One thing that can be done to help Seniors avoid or reverse dependency on drugs/medications and help them gain/regain their independence is to avoid many of the problems in the first place. While reversal of many ailments can often occur, it is much better to avoid the issues all together!
Considering changing one's lifestyle to one more focused on Whole Food Plant Based dining is an excellent way to start. Adding a modest amount of exercise (walking, yoga, Tai Chi, Chigong and even light weight training) can go a long way to keep the juices flowing and the body in great shape well into the later years.
Many think that a lifestyle and diet focused on Plant Based Whole Foods is one of incessant salads and vegetables. Nothing could be further from the facts relating to Plant-Based Cuisine!
The variety, flavors, textures and delicious smell of Plant-Based Cuisine is beyond what most traditional consumers of the Standard American Diet are aware much less familiar. Unfortunately, few will even attempt to try; even when presented with the opportunity.
The fact that a Whole Food Plant Based diet is high in fiber (no more laxatives!), high in protein, critical nutrients (amino acids, minerals and vitamins) is totally overshadowed by the Delicious nature of the meals. Given a chance, the taste and variety will convince even the most die-hard skeptic that these meals are truly Delicious!
What We Offer to Physicians and Senior Living Centers
If you are located in the Central Florida area, we would be happy to visit you and prepare a simple, low cost, DELICIOUS Plant Based meal to demonstrate the variety and diversity possible. Our initial fee only covers expenses!
If you live in the immediate Orlando area, we can do a 'Lunch and Learn' session while you eat a lovely Plant-Based lunch; delivered to your office. Again, we only charge for the basic expenses. You can even request one of your favorite meals and we will do our best to present a Plant-Based version. You would be surprised what our Chef Nancy can do!
We can show you how we can consult with your organization to plan delicious Plant-Based Delicious and Nutritious meals that everyone will enjoy. We offer training to individuals, patients and even Chefs on how to easily, inexpensively and quickly prepare Plant-Based Cuisine.
What have you got to loose?
Skip Stein is COO and Lifestyle Counselor at Whole Foods 4 Healthy Living near Orlando Florida. Under the subsidiary, Plant Based Healthstyle they promote a Plant Based Lifestyle for Nutritional Weight Loss, Disease Prevention and Disease Reversal.