Aging well: Innovative approaches for boomers and beyond #AHCJ16

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

aging-hikersWe baby boomers were lucky to grow up when we did. We came of age during an era of progress. The Beatles … and Woodstock. Civil rights … and women’s rights. We saw men land on the moon and journalism unmask a president’s illegal actions.

Boomers also experienced a time of tremendous advances in science and medicine. We benefited from new vaccines to ward off measles and polio. Learned about the dangers of cholesterol, trans fats and smoking. Vowed to eat right and exercise.

Now, we care for parents who are living well into their 80s and 90s. And naturally we assume we’ll do the same.

Maybe not.

We’re also a generation that’s developing more chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. We struggle with obesity. We’re stressed out and exhausted. We may be the first generation to enter old age less healthy than those who came before us, warn experts.

Is it inevitable? Or are there steps people can take now that can help them enter the “golden” years healthier, more resilient and better equipped to cope with future health challenges?

road-to-cleveland-2That’s the focus of a can’t-miss panel at Health Journalism 2016 in Cleveland on Saturday, April 9: “Aging Well: Innovative Approaches for Boomers and Beyond.” Guest speaker Colin Milner, chief executive officer of the International Council on Active Aging and publisher of the Journal on Active Aging will lead off the discussion with some insights into why we have to take charge of the aging process, and how journalists can find some new twists on the topic.

Ronan Factora, M.D., of the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Geriatric Medicine and co-director of its Aging Brain Clinic, will take a look at the physical side of aging – his experiences with his patients and why it’s important to take preventive measures early. Then, Francoise Adan, M.D., medical director of University Hospitals Connor Integrative Health Network and assistant professor of psychiatry in the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, will lead us through the mind-body connection and why a holistic approach which includes integrative medicine may be as important to aging well as healthy eating and hitting the gym.

There will be time for Q&A following the presentation. It will be an eye-opening session with tips for your reporting that you can put into practice right away. And, it’s the a perfect warm-up act before our reception at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! It promises to be an enlightening session.

Not yet registered for Health Journalism 2016? The advance registration deadline for the April 7-10 event has passed, but you can still join us with on-site registration. Check here for details.

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