Lifestyle vs Family History

by Jamie Wilson

Good News:
As a society, American people are living longer, in fact we are living 30-40 years longer than was typical for people at the turn of the century.   Modern medicine has also eliminated many fatal illness and created treatments for others to better manage them so they don’t become fatal.  Those turning 65 years old are no longer retiring to the rocking chair on the front porch.  Statistics show that people over 65 contribute more time to volunteer activities and are more politically active than other age groups. Aging has evolved.

Bad News:
Americans still battle a host of medical issues in their senior years. Research shows that most people will have one chronic illness by 65 years of age, 2 illnesses by 75 years of age and 3 or more by 85 years of age.  Common illnesses are heart disease, hypertension, arthritis, diabetes, cancer and dementia.

Good News:
Making educated choices and living a healthy lifestyle greatly reduce the likelihood of getting these types of illness, even for those with a family history of disease.  Good nutrition, exercise and a healthy lifestyle are the keys to avoiding illness and can also reduce the impact for those already suffering from disease.

For example a heart healthy diet can directly impact lowering blood pressure and reducing the risks of diabetes, cancers and strokes, which can cause dementia.  Exercise compounds the positive effects of a healthy diet and also can ease the pain of arthritis.

Great News:
It is never too late to make a positive impact on your health.  A person can gain strength and build muscle at any age.  Good health is one of the two of the most critical factors that impact how happy and independent someone will be in their senior years.  So do not leave it up to family history or fate to determine how you will live and feel.  Take control. Make a choice. Talk with your physician about ways to live a healthier lifestyle today.

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind he will find acceptable. Romans 12:1


About the Author

Rev. Jamie Wilson Headley – CDP, CDI, CSA, MBA President & CEO Dementia Services Group is a full service dementia consulting company that works directly with families dealing with a dementia diagnosis, acting as a navigator, advisor and advocate. DSG also provides dementia training to industry professionals and the community at large. Ms Wilson is a sought after public speaker on dementia and aging. Jamie has been trained by the Alzheimer’s Association of America as a Dementia Professional, and has been certified by the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners as a Certified Dementia Practitioner and as an Instructor. Ms Wilson has also been trained as a Certified Senior Advisor and is an ordained non -denominational minister. Jamie has a great deal of personal experience with dementia as well as her professional training. Jamie’s mother died of Alzheimer’s disease. As her Mother’s caretaker and advocate, Jamie gained a wealth of knowledge, much of it she quips, on “what NOT to do”. In addition, Jamie holds a BA and MBA from Dominican University in River Forest, IL and spent her “former life” as an operations executive working with fortune 500 companies. Jamie was hired by companies for her expertise in crisis management, strategic planning, leading through change and training and development. This expertise transfers into her work as an advocate, advisor and educator. The mission of DSG is to improve the lives of those living with dementia by offering support, advocacy and advice to individuals and families and by providing education to healthcare professionals and senior providers. This is Jamie’s passion, her purpose and her ministry.