DOWNEY – Friday’s fifth annual Rancho Women’s Health Conference had so much energy, joy and expert advice that the fountain of youth was the dancing experience for participants and presenters alike. Spontaneous dancing, meditation, yoga, Zumba, a healthy lunch and valuable advice was presented by Rancho’s finest physicians to answer the question “How do we age successfully in mind, body and spirit?”
Dr. Susan Shaw presented on the two most serious neurological disorders of aging being stroke and dementia. Stroke is more prevalent in women than men and women suffer a greater disability from strokes.
The good news, experts said, is 80% of all strokes are preventable by paying attention to risk factors and managing them. The most important is to not smoke and to avoid, treat or manage hypertension and diabetes.
Dementia is a group of symptoms that include loss of memory, thinking and reasoning skills. Alzheimer’s is a disease that causes dementia. Early diagnosis is important to improve chance of treatments that can slow down the progression of dementia.
Prevention of dementia includes: staying mentally and physically active; enjoy diets rich in fruits, vegetables, high fiber, fish and omega-3-rich oils and lastly do not smoke.
We can delay dementia from 1 to 4 years by staying mentally active which is achieved through: reading; board games; playing a musical instrument; dancing; puzzles; being socially active; occasionally using your non-dominate hand to eat; or learning a new language.
Dr. Stephan Bughi answered the question “Why a Women’s Health Conference?” If you educate a woman, you educate a family. Women play such a dominate role in healthcare for the people they care about that informing one informs so many.
Dr. Bughi shared the model for successful aging to include: manage your health; engage with people and exercise your body and brain. What accelerates aging is smoking; too much sun exposure; a sedentary life and a poor diet. We need to manage stress with positivity because negativity brings down our immune system. The cells in our bodies react to everything your mind has to say.
Dr. Natalie Nevins presented “Seven Building Blocks for a Happy, Healthy and Pain Free” life to be: nutrition; digestion; breathing, sleep; mental health; posture and movement. Dr. Nevins explained how to breath properly from the diaphragm and that normal breathing is from the nose and not the mouth so you get more oxygen. The keys to healthful aging are flexibility and balance. Set a timer for one minute every hour as a gift to yourself to do exercise you choose.
Connie Wetzstein, a chartered financial consultant, shared that seven out of 10 women will need long-term care assistance with the activities of daily living. Dr. Bughi had revealed that the average cost of a private room in a nursing home in 2010 was $83,000 per year.
Wetzstein explained that funding options include Medicare which is limited to 21 days of acute care; Medicaid if your assets as a single person are below $2,000, you own not more than one car and the equity in your home is under $500,000; private insurance for long-term care or, lastly, self pay. The time to plan is now.
Dr. Sylvia Shaw, after dancing herself happy, announced “there was no place I would rather be than right here at the Women’s Conference because the vibe is so good!” Dr. Shaw went on to share how pre-diabetes and diabetes has increased to 39% of adults in California and we have to turn this around with diet and exercise. After age 30 muscle mass decreases by 3-8% every 10 years and when you combine that issue with older adults that move less and thereby increase body fat, you have created the risk for diabetes.
For type 2 diabetes, diet and exercise decrease risk by 58% as compared to 31% with metformin medicine. Physical activity recommendation is 150 minutes a week of moderate to intense exercise along with resistance training.
“This is a wonderful experience for Rancho to be able to do this for the community,” Dr. Szlachcic said. “We are grateful for our generous sponsors that made this happen and look forward to the Sixth Annual Women’s Health Conference at the Rio Hondo Event Center next October.”
Published: Oct. 30, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 29