There have always been two sides to my research. Both are concerned with keeping fit, one the brain and the other the body.

It always seems narrow minded to me that health departments ignore prevention methods and prefer to deal with full blown illnesses. Illness is more likely to occur among older people and recovery is usually slower and often incomplete. This policy doesn’t make sense, either in financial or in humane terms.

I recently talked my way into attending what I assumed would be an assessment session followed by a fitness program to take home and follow. It took place at the gym attached to our local public hospital. The second, the fitness program, happened but not the first. After protests I was invited back for an assessment which I wasn’t entirely satisfied with. I am now arguing that all hospitals should have gyms attached and people needing rehabilitation, people with weight problems and older people should be automatically referred to them for assistance.

For many older people private fitness centres are often too expensive and inappropriate. Exercises such as walking are easily available at home and, with guidance, the muscle strength side of fitness could be done appropriately there too. Weights and other equipment is available in chain stores and is fairly cheap. Chemist shops, some of which already stock it, could be encouraged to do so and it could be subsidised there through the pharmaceutical benefits scheme. All that people would need would be initial help with using it and then perhaps an annual checkup. I am intending to suggest this to our new Minister for Health when we get one.

A cheap and easy way  to assist older people to keep fit and healthy should be enthusiastically embraced. I’ll keep you posted.

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