The American Senior Fitness Association presents Experience!

September 19, 2007

Table of Contents
  • Whole-Person Wellness for Vital Living: Part Five (Nurture a wellness state of mind)
  • Hey, Watch Your Mouth! (Dental care)
SFA Members can access "Experience!" online at www.SeniorFitness.net/Experience.htm

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Whole-Person Wellness for Vital Living: Part Five

New subscribers can read Parts One through Four of this five-part series on wellness by SFA author Jan Montague, MGS, by clicking on "
Whole Person Wellness for Vital Living." That link will provide you with details on: (1) the history, theory, and practice of wellness, especially as applied to older adults; (2) references and recommended reading related to the series, and (3) biographical information on our author. Today, Ms. Montague winds up this invigorating series on a highly inspirational note!

Nurture a wellness state of mind

Following are some positive thoughts and resources that can help you use wellness to light the path of your personal journey through life.

Personal Wellness Involves:

  • Self-Responsibility
  • Optimism
  • Self-Directed Approach
  • Self-Efficacy
  • Choices

Whole-Person Wellness Facts:

  • Whole-person wellness is the integration of an individual's multiple dimensions into positive beliefs and meaningful activities.
  • Wellness is relative to the individual.
  • The process and attainment are behavior specific.
  • Wellness has nothing to do with age.

(Montague, Eippert & Associates, 2005-2006)

Wellness Promotes:

  • Concepts of moderation, rather than excesses;
  • Balance among various facets of life activity;
  • The importance of a personal role in shaping one's health;
  • Providing a broad framework for the integration of activities to enhance human functioning and quality of life;
  • The pursuit of individual efforts and to be as healthy as possible in the areas of physical, mental, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual health.

(Planning Wellness: Getting Off to a Good Start, Larry S. Chapman, MPH)

Wellness:

  • Is a Choice
  • Is a Way of Life
  • Is a Process
  • Is an Efficient Channeling of Energy
  • Is the Integration of Body, Mind, and Spirit
  • Is the Loving Acceptance of Yourself
  • Is the Artful Balance of Purposefully Blending Body, Mind, and Spirit.

(Wellness Workbook, Ryan, Travis, 1988)

The Whole-Person Wellness Model Integrates Six Essential Dimensions of Wellness:

Wellness Wheel

Promote Personal Wellness Today by Performing These Simple Exercises:

Wellness Activities

How would you define wellness?










Think Well, Act Well, Be WellCreate a Personal Wellness Motto:










Wellness Action Plan

_____    I will learn more about wellness and how it impacts my life.

_____    I will investigate opportunities for personal wellness.

_____    I will create a personal wellness goal.

_____    I will encourage others on their wellness journey.


Buddist Saying

Click here for a full size PDF copy of this form

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Hey, Watch Your Mouth!

Another excellent SFA author, the nationally recognized senior fitness consultant Jim Evans, regularly shares with Experience! readers his wisdom gained from four decades of work in the health-fitness industry. Today he's answering a question on dental health that dovetails nicely with our wellness theme, because the solution calls for a proactive approach, health education, an attitude of optimistic self-responsibility, appropriate use of the medical system, and an awareness that one thing affects another when it comes to enjoying optimal health and quality of life.

DEAR JIM: I'm 72 and have a couple of missing molars, which is beginning to affect the way I eat. My gums have become increasingly tender, and I find myself eating softer foods because I can't chew without difficulty. My other teeth are becoming noticeably separated, too. Since I have trouble chewing solid foods, I've been thinking about buying some protein powder or some canned nutritional drinks to make sure I still get all of the proper nutrients. I already take a regular multivitamin. Is there anything else I can do? HOLES IN MY HEAD IN HANOVER

DEAR HOLES: My advice is to stop worrying about temporary solutions and have your missing teeth replaced as soon as possible. All the protein powders, nutritional drinks, and vitamins in the world cannot substitute for the importance of your teeth.

You're not alone in your circumstances -- thousands of Americans, mostly older adults just like you, are missing one or more teeth. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, almost one in every four people over age 65 have already lost all their teeth, so it is well that you still have most of yours left. Every tooth plays an important role in the way we speak and the way we chew our food. Even one missing tooth can wreak havoc on your health because it can cause the rest of your teeth to shift out of position, leading to bone loss, gum disease, and even malnutrition.

You have probably lost your teeth over a period of several years, so we need to determine why you haven't taken action before now. My guess is that, like many of your generation, you were not exposed to much of today's modern dentistry while growing up so, perhaps, there is an inherent fear of going to the dentist. Please let me assure you that modern dentistry has come a long way since the early days when going to the dentist was such a dreaded experience. You can now be completely sedated if necessary while undergoing any dental procedure, and you won't feel a thing. In most cases, you can just lie back and take a nap, and by the time you wake up, it will all be over.

Dental implants have become an important, and increasingly popular, option for older adults with missing teeth as a permanent alternative to removable bridges. Constructed of a titanium (sometimes ceramic) "root" and capped with an acrylic or porcelain crown, modern implants assimilate with the gums and bond to the underlying bone tissue in a process known as osseointegration. This prevents the gum recession and bone loss often associated with bridegework and dentures and preserves the integrity of facial features. Dental implants provide a permanent solution that allows patients to have teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth.

Although implants traditionally have been associated with multiple surgeries, long periods of healing (often six to nine months), discomfort, and high cost, the FDA approved an exciting new implant procedure about three years ago by Nobel Biocare called "Teeth-in-an-Hour" that allows patients to receive their implants in a one-hour, non-traumatic treatment under local anesthetic.

There are affordable financing plans for dental work just like there are for purchasing a car, furniture, or anything else, so cost should not be a deterrent. Age is not a factor either. "I have had patients over 90 years old," says Dr. Azita Vakili, a leading prosthodontist in Solana Beach, California. "Your health is more of a determining factor than your age. If you are healthy enough to have a tooth extracted, you are probably healthy enough to consider implants."

So, do make an appointment with your dentist today. It will change your life -- and your health -- in a positive way, and you can start looking forward to biting into a nice juicy steak again.

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Experience! readers: Thank you for your interest and questions. Due to the high volume of contacts SFA receives, we cannot respond to individual queries or comments. However, the newsletter does address frequently asked questions and topics of vital interest to our members.

Free SFA basic membership: If you aren't already a member of the American Senior Fitness Association (SFA), just sign up online at www.seniorfitness.org. There are no fees or membership dues. And, we don't give out our members' personal information to others! When you join SFA, you'll receive our e-newsletter "Experience!" which will bring you older adult fitness news, research, and wellness tips.

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