The Secret to Longevity: Advice from Nonagenarians
By: Gina Epifano, PT, COS-C, Director of Rehabilitation
Carl Reiner is well known as an actor, director and comedian. He’s also 95 years old. His recent HBO documentary “If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast” is an inquisitive and insightful look into what life is like for people in their 90s. He talks with other famed nonagenarians including Dick Van Dyke, Betty White and Norman Lear, discussing their thoughts and ideas about their own longevity. Dick Van Dyke’s best tip? Keep Moving. He believes so strongly in the importance of maintaining mobility that he has written a book about it.
Reiner also meets with and shares the stories of regular, every day people living actively in their 90s. The documentary introduces the viewer to Tao Porchon-Lynch who is still teaching yoga, and Ida Keeling, who is still running races at 102 years old!
At Visiting Nurse Health System, our therapists are very comfortable seeing patients in this age range. We recently provided therapy to a patient who was still mowing her own grass at 100 years old!
Physical Therapists Keep Aging Patients Moving Safely
What is the common denominator to their stories? It’s just what Dick Van Dyke said: Keep moving. At Visiting Nurse, we have an entire department dedicated to doing just that. Our rehabilitation practice includes physical, occupational and speech therapists who are dedicated to helping patients stay mobile. Our clinicians evaluate and treat patients in their own homes, helping patients reach their own personal mobility goals. Treating patients in their own homes also gives Visiting Nurse’s therapists the unique ability to perform home safety assessments and individualized fall prevention plans tailored to keep our patients safe in their own environment.
While it is fantastic to think of elderly patients running or mowing the grass, our therapists understand that many of our patients in this age range might not be quite so agile. We are sensitive to those with limited mobility and pain issues who might just want to be able to get around the house a little more safely. Our therapists work with each patient to develop mobility goals tailored specifically to each individual’s needs.
Our mission at Visiting Nurse is to improve the lives of those we serve. If you would like more information about how Visiting Nurse can help you or your loved one keep moving, please contact me at Gina.Epifano@vnhs.org or 919-645-7543.