To order your copy of Bottom Up!,

email Melanie:

From Toes to Head:
The Many Reasons To
Stand Up and Move

The book costs $10.00 (or less as a bulk order) and can be mailed to you for the added cost of postage.

The original booklet was a compilation of articles written for a “Senior’s Newsletter” at the JCC from 2009 to 2017. It was put together as a fund-raiser. The new book was created in response to many requests for another like the first.

Look for some articles from the first book on this page.

Below, this time, I have combined two articles which seem relevant to the problems we are facing right now, as we deal with a new "change" in how we must behave.

Life Expectancy vs. Healthy Life Expectancy

It is interesting to note that in 1980 life expectancy (LE) was 75 years but “healthy life expectancy” (HLE) was 63 years. Now (depending on where you live) LE is over 80 for men and women (84 for women in B.C.) but HLE is only 72 for women and 68 for men. Diabetes or high blood pressure reduces HLE much more. 

We have a growing population of people over 65 living with one, or often several, chronic conditions. The baby boom bulge, born between 1946 & 1964, has reached that time of life when medical intervention may become necessary.

Between 2011 and 2030, 10,000 people turn 65 every day. The stress on the health care system escalates. Will there be enough younger people to service the medical, financial and elder-care needs of this group? Maybe not.

 We know sensible, appropriate exercise reduces diseases arising from sedentary behaviour. Regular exercisers often engage in lifestyle practices promoting better health as well. Education is important but not sufficient. Even for disease conditions exercise consistently demonstrates a reduction in symptoms, medication use and recovery time after surgery.

The frequent problem is finding suitable exercise. It takes time to adjust to the new reality of a health challenge and discover that exercise is still possible even if different from before. [In March this became an issue not just for those with health conditions but for all who used exercise facilities, pools and weight rooms to keep fit.] There is often fear of further problems. What we need is peer exercise leaders trained to be empathetic, encouraging and knowledgeable. It is a career change opportunity of the future.

The Super Senior

In 1889 Germany became the first country to develop social security. Age 70, selected as retirement age, was later lowered to 65. Life expectancy was then about 41; this was not going to be an expensive program!

The idea of “65” being the beginning of “old age” was born. Now life expectancy is past 80 so this magic number has little meaning apart from eligibility for a “Gold Card”. Becoming a “Super Senior” requires more than carrying a gold card.

Other than death and taxes, one certainty of life is that there will be “change” and “loss”.

How we deal with these is very individual but probably predicts how we will age. Genetics has a big influence here.

Adaptability to change shows up early in children; some start life able to “roll with the punches”. Sometimes we learn adaptability from the example of others.

There are many stories of people who began a completely new task late in life; the ballet dancer who started when he was 79, the gold medal runner who began at 98. Saying, “I can’t do [whatever] anymore,” is a dead end. Saying, “Since I can no longer do [whatever] I’m going to try __” This makes a new beginning.

Super seniors challenge the expectations of others by doing the unexpected. They change direction, accept change, deal with loss and move on to play new games.

[March 2020 addition: Best of luck to those of you who find new ways to move, ways to stay healthy and ways to cope with the inevitable challenges of the coming months.]