VSPF July Health Talk

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Ever year in July a health talk is organized for Visitation Senior Parishioners Fellowship members. This year’s health talk was entitled “Aging Gracefully”. The talk was held on Sunday 10th July 2022 at 4.00pm.  The guest speaker for the talk was Mr. Sam Bosco.

            Mr. Bosco did his Master’s Degree in Mother and Childcare at the Christian Medical College in Vellore, India. He is a parishioner of the Church of the Visitation, Seremban. Mr. Bosco began his talk by mentioning the beauty of the topic “Aging Gracefully” and how it is a wonderful topic to share with senior citizens. He explained his research on this topic by his, readings, practical findings, and conversations with friends, who are medical doctors to, give members a clear understanding of the topic.

The three aspects of aging gracefully are; firstly, living a longer and healthier life. Secondly, living a more meaningful life. Thirdly, to eat normal food with sufficient amount of nutrients.  The most important is to ensure that the food we eat will promote longer life and healthier brain function.

Mr. Sam Bosco continued by saying that the food we eat plays an  important role in our life.  He posed the question of which ordinary food is good for us to eat. Most members answered this question correctly.  These are food that contain antioxidants, vitamins, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E, as well as anti-inflammatory foods, papaya, drumstick leaves, as well as acidic foods like lime and lemon. Organic food without pesticides and insecticides like vegetables, are equally important and they act as immunity boosters.

Longevity depends on the type of food we eat.  Medical advancement has overcome hereditary health ailments with the right diet modified life pattern. We need to cultivate food control. He gave an example of his friend Osamu San, aged 92, and his wife, aged 86, how, they take great care in preparing their tea. Water is boiled and set aside for 30 seconds before the tea leaves are added in. They eat fruit before meals and their food is half cooked.  There is indeed nutritional goodness in the ordinary food that we eat.

The next question was: How do we prevent shock, depression, stroke, high blood pressure and high sugar level in our body? Firstly, how do we prevent stroke and depression?  The cause of stroke is having high level of sugar in the blood.  Depression is all in our mind.  Mr. Sam gave an example of a teacher who studied in Cambridge. She is currently 74 years old and is still teaching secondary school Mathematics and English. As many would know, secondary school Mathematics is difficult to teach, yet, she is still teaching, in spite of her age! Mr. Bosco continued that morning or evening walk with friends for one or two kilometers is refreshing and very good for blood circulation. He quoted Liverpool’s famous motto “You Never Walk Alone!”  Next, is the importance of exercising. It is never too late to start exercising.  Whatever your family genes are, they do not matter, you can reverse them. Scientific research assures us that we never have to worry about our family’s genetics.

Mr. Bosco continued to ask the members’ view on attitude and faith. Spiritual growth could simply mean, attending Mass regularly. He drew member’s attention to the day’s Gospel on The Good Samaritan, and continued to say that, we too have to live spiritual lives by caring for those around us in the same essence of the spirituality owned by the Good Samaritan.

Even if one were to age, they should not be worried about it. Instead, Mr. Bosco stressed, we should age with grace. Despite aging, we are to be motivated and continue to have hope. Medical attention is equally important.

The specific medical field of geriatrics is meant to care for the elderly and their health, especially for senior citizens. For senior citizens to be treated under the Geriatric Department, they would need to receive a referral letter from a doctor beforehand. The geriatric field is available for senior citizens from the age of 60 years and above. The main aim is to be healthy.  Therefore, paying a visit to the geriatric department is good for senior citizens despite their health being good or bad. The doctors are specialized in the geriatric department and will take the necessary action to ensure good health for senior citizens. 

As we all are aware, prevention is always better than cure. The clinic is fully equipped with x-ray, ECG, ultrasounds, and other medical equipment.

Being elderly, it is vital for senior citizens to take  precaution to prevent sickness. For example, during this time of COVID19, it is even more important for senior citizens to wear a mask at all times to prevent the risk of COVID19. As for senior citizens who are on daily medication or insulin, for those with diabetes, it is very important to continuously take their vitamins and medications daily to prevent any sickness or severe effects of their current sickness. Besides that, a relaxed mind is very important for senior citizens. Music is food for the soul. Listening to music every day will help to reduce one’s pressure.

Mr. Bosco then touched on the topic of body shaming.  He encouraged members to stop body shaming even though one is ill. Mr. Bosco encouraged members to be proud of how they look.  To be motivated.  Not to be shy to dress up.  We should be thankful to be awake every morning, and be able to accept ourselves as we are, as it is God who created us in his image. As people age, they tend to feel insecure about the way they carry themselves. Body shaming for the elderly is not healthy whether it be emotional or mental. Being shy to dress up or taking care of one’s appearance has to be the least of one’s worries when approaching old age. Mr. Bosco encouraged the members to be bold by trying new hairstyles, and styles of dressing. Dress in clothes that allow the feel of being comfortable and confident. Self-care and pampering oneself do not have an expiry date. Mr. Bosco mentioned two members who dress beautifully and fashionably and are our own VSPF members, Mrs. Lucia David is one.  The other, much-loved person, also a VSPF member, the late Aunty Philo.  It is never too late.  It is now or never. Mr. Bosco encouraged members to have fun, be brave and bold, and live a beautiful life. He cautioned never to neglect themselves and their appearance just because of being elderly.

Key points emphasized by Mr. Bosco were to acquire timely eating habits and not missing out on taking the daily medication. Neglecting one’s health is bad. Breakfast should never be left out and waking up early every day is healthier. Mr. Bosco encouraged the members to plan their time and not compromise on the attention they give themselves. He ended his speech with words of encouragement to “Go for it. Live well, and grow old gracefully”.

Th floor was open to members for questions.  Members asked questions and shared their experiences.  Members were satisfied and found the talk most helpful.  They hoped Mr. Sam will come again to talk on the topic of healthy food in more detail. 

Members thanked Mr. Bosco for his time and continued to discuss more questions informally over tea after the talk had ended.

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