Senior Adult Health

Senior Adult Health

We live in a day in which the quality of health for the average person diminishes dramatically in their senior years — and we accept this as normal. Increasingly, people are living longer but with less quality of life. What most do not realize, however, is that positive changes can dramatically improve quality of life even in one’s senior years. God created man with a body capable of enjoying eternal life here on earth and provided him with the foods to sustain health (Gen. 1:29) with only one test of his volition (Gen. 2:16-17). And, as we know, Adam and Eve failed the test and were expelled from the perfect environment of the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:22). From that point on all mankind became subject to not only spiritual death (separation from God) but also physical death. However, I would suggest to you that although man was under the penalty of death, God did not design nor ordain the human body to become diseased and to decline into old age with impaired health until death! I would suggest that Moses, the author of the first five books of the Bible, is a prime example of how God intended mankind to live, even after the initial sin. In the book of Deuteronomy we read:

And Moses an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated. (Deut. 34:7)

While Moses’ body aged (120 years of age at time of death), there is no record of Moses enduring sickness or a decline in physical or mental health. When it was time for him to depart this life, he simply went to sleep and passed on into eternity. In stark contrast, today we find 50% of our population dying with some form of cardiovascular disease that both cuts their lives short and often impairs their quality of life for many years prior to death. Another third of our population is dying of various forms of cancer (or dying due to the treatments administered). Again we find both the disease and the treatments dramatically reducing the quality of life in the latter years if they survive the disease any length of time. Both of these diseases are not diseases of old age but diseases that are diet related! Here are some sobering statistics about senior citizen health today:1

  • Chance that a senior citizen will become physically or cognitively impaired in their lifetime: 2 in 3
  • Chances a senior will enter a nursing home: 1 in 3
  • The average cost to seniors for care as per the below chart

What does the future hold with the current trend in aging? The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services says, "The older population—persons 65 years or older—numbered 39.6 million in 2009 (the latest year for which data is available). They represented 12.9% of the U.S. population, about one in every eight Americans. By 2030, people in the 65+ age bracket are expected to grow to be 19% of the population."2

With an ever increasing aging population, medical costs to treat symptoms will continue to soar while the quality of life is impaired by disease, side effects of medical treatments, and drugs. Not only will the quality of life diminish for the older person, but their siblings and children will face the added responsibility of caring for parents, brothers, and sisters in declining health. This often includes placing them in assisted living facilities for many years, which can exhaust the entire estate accumulated from a lifetime of work and saving. Without a doubt, there is indeed a better option! Many older adults have elected to take charge of their health and their senior years. They have adopted The Hallelujah Diet, overcome major health challenges, and today are experiencing a new level of health and personal independence. Not only have they added years to their life, but they have also added quality of life to those years. They can now enjoy time and physical activities with their family and their precious grandchildren rather than having an occasional visit from family members while being confined to an assisted living facility. The sooner you can begin incorporating positive dietary and lifestyle changes, the greater your health, longevity, and quality of life will be impacted. Caregivers can assist older adults with juicing or green smoothies, preparing some in advance. Fresh juices may be stored in the refrigerator in 8-ounce mason jars, filled to the top (to reduce air as much as possible) and sealed for two to three days. Juices may be frozen for up to 2 weeks and thawed as needed. (NOTE: When freezing juice, do not fill to the top; allow room for juice to expand.)

BLENDING TIP:

By thoroughly blending the vegetables in a blender you will get several times the benefit from eating those vegetables in a traditional salad. The blender masticates the fibers of the plants much more thoroughly than we do by chewing them, releasing the valuable nutrients for better absorption and utilization. A high-speed blender like the BlendTec or Vitamix works best. If using a regular blender, you may need to add a few ingredients at a time and blend them thoroughly before adding additional ingredients. Salad items may be washed ahead of time and stored in plastic containers in the refrigerator for use as needed. Caregivers can be tremendous assets in helping loved ones regain their health and quality of life! I would strongly encourage those who are seeking to make positive lifestyle changes to take advantage of the many free resources on the Hallelujah Acres website (www.hacres.com). Educating ourselves in terms of diet and lifestyle can dramatically improve our quality of life at any age and truly add years to our life — and life to our years!

References:

  1. www.payingforseniorcare.com/longtermcare/statistics.html
  2. www.aoa.gov/aoaroot/aging_statistics/index.aspx

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