Live Well and Age Well …
Isn’t that what all of us want to do?
Dewayne Belew, Susan Burkett O'Hare, very year, HealthScope magazine will do a
General Operations RN, MSN, CPNP, CPN
special issue that focuses on a specific health
Manager, Associated Administrator, T.C.
and wellness topic that crosses the heart of
Pathologists and Thompson Children’s
PathGroup Labs Hospital
our communities. In this issue we focus on how to
“Live Well and Age Well.” The underlying theme
of this issue is that we have the opportunities and
abilities to do it! We are blessed with excellent
medical care throughout the Chattanooga Area.
We are fortunate to live in a beautiful area of the
photo by david humber
country with an abundance of outdoor activities.
We are fortunate to have community leaders,
Philip Cook, President,
Tom Cory, Ph. D.
business executives, and medical professionals
Psychiatric Solutions, Inc.,
dedicated to offering the Chattanooga Area the
best medical and wellness care.
In this issue, our writers provide a wonderful
assortment of articles, all of which reflect on how to live well and age well. Charlotte
Boatwright shares an overview of the “State of Health” in the Chattanooga Area
from the perspective of executives leading medical care throughout the area. Tom
Cory provides a wonderfully, thought provoking article on “attitudes” and how
they impact aging well. Linda Benton shares
a light but informative article on minimally
Dr. Daniel F. Fisher, Jr. Rae Bond
and non-invasive cosmetic procedures, and
FACS Executive Director
General and Vascular Chattanooga & how they allow aging Baby Boomers to reverse
Surgery and Renal Hamilton County
“those wrinkles.” Then we are treated to ar-
Transplantation Medical Society
ticles on fitness, nutrition and mature living,
all of which focus on what “we” can do to stay
well and live well.
As always we profile a person or group that contributes in a special way to the
Chattanooga Area. In this issue, we are proud to profile the Volunteers in Medi-
cine Clinic Chattanooga. This group of local professionals has dedicated itself to
providing medical care to the uninsured. Through their efforts, they help people
who can’t afford medical care to be well, and through their contributions, reduce
Karen Wisdom, Senior
Charles Stewart, the cost of medical care in our communities.
Vice President & COO,
President and CEO,
Everyday we make choices that impact how we feel and how we age. All of us
Center want to live well and age well. Hopefully, this issue of HealthScope magazine will
help you make the best choices for you and your family and God willing, live well
and age well.
Cindi Mullinix, Editor-in-Chief
Lynn Whisman, Nancy P. White
look for this issue on our new Web site www.ChattanoogahealthscopeMag.com.
BSN, MBA, CHE, Senior VP/Chief
Vice President of Marketing & Customer
also, look for the latest issue of CityScope magazine on www.ChattanoogaCityscopeMag.com
Patient Care Services, Relations Officer,
Erlanger Health System Erlanger Hospital
in a Minute
Good Health Habits for Preventing Seasonal Flu
he single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health
habits may also help protect you against the flu. Below are steps that you can take to
protect yourself and others from flu and other respiratory illnesses.
Avoid close contact.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Stay home when you are sick.
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help
prevent others from catching your illness.
Cover your mouth and nose.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
(or your elbow if no tissue is available). It may prevent those around
you from getting sick.
Healthy Tailgate Chili
Clean your hands.
Are you ready for some football and chili
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
for your tailgate party?
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is tailgate Chili
contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or
2 lbs. crumbled tofu
2 medium onions, chopped
Practice other good health habits.
2 green peppers, chopped
Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink
3 cloves garlic, minced
plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
16 oz. can of kidney beans
For more information go to: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits/index.htm
16 oz. can of diced tomatoes
16 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
Happy Day Chili Powder – Alchemy Spice Company
What’s In a Healthy Diet? Optional toppings: juice of one lime, green onion,
assorted minced hot peppers, beer, shredded cheeses,
he emphasis these days is on establishing a
sour cream, hot sauce, tortilla chips
healthy eating pattern over time, rather than
Brown tofu in skillet. In a large pot, cook onions
simply counting calories. For example, a diet
in 1 tbsp. olive oil until translucent. Add green
with cardiovascular benefits is low in saturated fat,
peppers and saute’ for 3-5 minutes. Feel free to
avoids trans fats, and includes the following:
add other peppers as well—consider poblanos,
habaneros, or banana peppers. Add garlic and
• Three to six servings per day of grains, at least
cook for 1-2 minutes. Add tofu, kidney beans,
half of them whole grains (i.e. brown rice, bul-
tomtatoes, and Happy Day Chili Powder. Add 6
gar, 100% whole wheat bread and whole-grain
cups of water and allow your meal to simmer for
cereal) rather than refined grains such as white
a couple of hours or until flavors meld. Add the
bread, and pasta made with refined flour.
cayenne for taste; low salt for taste. Add lime
• Five servings or more per day of fruits and vegetables. Whole fruits (as opposed to juice) and
juice if preferred. Serve with shredded cheese,
dark green and orange vegetables tend to be high in fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants.
sour cream, hot sauce, tortilla chips, green
• Four servings per week of nuts, seeds and legumes (dried beans and peas). You may also onions and other fixings.
use these foods as a substitute for meats and poultry.
Note: The cayenne is very hot cayenne; so use spar-
• At least two servings per week of fish, especially those rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as
ingly. Cut recipe in half for a medium-sized pot of
salmon and mackerel. If you don’t care for fish, try plant-based sources of omega-3 fats,
chili. Recipe courtesy of the Alchemy Spice Company,
such as soybeans, tofu, walnuts, and ground flaxseeds.
Chattanooga, TN. For more information, visit: www.
• Small amounts of healthy fats, such as those found in olive and canola oils (monounsatu- alchemyspicecompany.com. Spices and other foods can
rated fat) and corn, sunflower, and other vegetable oils (polyunsaturated fat). be found at the new Greenlife Grocery Store located at
301 Manufacturer’s Road in North Chattanooga.
Source: Harvard Women’s Health Watch, Volume 5, Number 3, November 2007.
S I X T Y S E C O N D S T O B E T T E R H E A LT H
First Things First Offers Classes and Seminars
Connections — This seminar teaches high a great start by learning essential skills to
school teens (ages 14-18) skills essential for help you build a strong foundation for a
success in their dating relationships. lasting marriage.
How To Avoid Marrying a JERK — A Love Secrets to Lasting — A class designed
relationship class for singles to learn skills to help you reconnect and breathe life back
necessary to follow your heart without los- into your marriage.
ing your mind. Maximize Your Marriage — For couples
Love’s Cradle — This seminar teaches ex- in distress, this seminar is designed to give
pectant, unmarried parents how to create a couples immediate skills to start healing
healthy family. their troubled marriage.
Preparing for Marriage — A class for For more information, visit
engaged couples…get your marriage off to www.firstthings.org
2 North Shore Brings
Greenlife Grocery to the
reenlife Grocery is now open at the 2 North Shore Shopping Center located at 301
Manufacturers Road in North Chattanooga. 2 North Shore, developed by CS & As-
sociates, is expected to be the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design) certified environmentally efficient retail center in Chattanooga. Greenlife’s newest
store offers a café with indoor and outdoor seating, community room, full kitchen, hot-
prepared meals to go and a bakery full of fresh homemade treats. There will be an outdoor
Farmers Market every Wednesday and Saturday. New features include a cheese bar where
customers sample different types of cheese, olives and all-natural Italian meats. Similar to
other Greenlife Stores, sustainable caught fresh seafood and sushi will be sold.
Warming Up to The Season’s Colder Weather Sports
he excitement for winter and seasonal activities such as downhill and cross country
skiing, ice skating and indoor running, require proper conditioning and preparation.
“Any time we embark upon a new physical activity, the risk of injury increases,” states
Jason Theodosakis, MD, a noted joint health expert and author of the #1 New York Times
best seller The Arthritis Cure (St. Martin’s Press, revised 2004).
• Always Begin with a Warm Up
Never jump right into a sport or other physical activity without
warming up first. A few minutes spent slowly easing into the
activity will gradually raise the temperature of the muscles, joints,
lungs, heart and nervous system and thereby prepare the body for
the higher paced exertion to come. A good warm up also stimulates joint lubrication to
begin in advance of the full throttle activity and reduces joint and bone friction.
• Always Include Stretching
Many people confuse stretching and warming up, which are actually quite different
and provide completely different benefits. A warm up involves muscle contraction
and temperature stimulation, whereas stretching involves lengthening muscles and
tendons to increase flexibility. By increasing flexibility prior to beginning a more
vigorous activity, the body is better prepared to respond to higher demands in range of
joint motion and muscle mobility.
Start! Hamilton County
Chattanooga joins movement to
walk more, eat well and live longer a day has proven health benefits, such as
O ver 500 Chattanooga/Hamilton County increased energy and circulation as well as
residents embarked on the Start! Heart reduced risk of heart disease. In addition,
Walk October 13 at AT&T Field to raise funds research shows that individuals can gain two
for the American Heart Association and start hours of life expectancy for each one hour
a journey to a healthier lifestyle. Next year’s of regular exercise,” said Jim Coleman VP of
event is already slated for the second week- Business Development for Parkridge Medical Memorial Regional Heart Center was the top Heart Walk
end of October. Center. “The reinvigorated Start! Heart Walk team for a third consecutive year. Teams are already
The American Heart Association’s physi- will help participants understand this criti- forming for the October, 2008 Start! Heart Walk. For
cal activity movement, Start!, is transforming cal message, join with others and generate a information call (423) 668-4900.
Heart Walk, into an experience that creates renewed commitment to heart-healthy living
hope, inspires change and celebrates success. WDEF FM Sunny 92.3 and Comcast.
Start! is a groundbreaking new move- Start! Heart Walk is nationally spon-
On average, cardiovascular disease and
ment from the American Heart Association, sored by SUBWAY®, Healthy Choice®, and
stroke are responsible for 1,289 every year in
calling on all Americans and their employers AstraZeneca. For information on participat-
Hamilton County. This is 40% of all deaths.
to create a culture of physical activity and ing in the Start! Heart Walk, Chattanooga
The success of the Start! Chattanooga Heart
health through walking, so that they can live area residents can call the American Heart
Walk was due in part to corporate partners
longer, heart-healthy lives. Association at 423-668-4900 or visit ameri-
and teams along with media sponsors
“Brisk walking for as little as 30 minutes canheart.org/hamiltoncountyheartwalk
HealthScope magazine, WDEF TV Channel 12,
Pink! The Bids for Kids Nets $81,000 for Children’s Hospital
A n elegant venue, exclusive
gala celebration to
one-of-a-kind auction items,
benefit the MaryEl-
len Locher Breast Cen- and a cause close to the hearts
ter at Memorial will be of many in the Chattanooga
held on Saturday, January 26, 2008, at the area, made for a truly successful
Chattanooga Trade and Convention Center. “Bids for Kids” auction. Benefit-
Tickets are $150 per person and include ing T.C. Thompson Children’s
cocktails, dinner, dancing (music provided Hospital Foundation, the event,
by Band X) and a silent auction. Patron according to chief development
tickets ($300 per ticket) provide access to officer Betsy Taylor, netted
an exclusive patron party, valet/reserved $81,000 to benefit the pediatric
parking, premium seating and table-side bar intensive care unit (PICU).
“The proceeds raised from
service the night of the event.
Funds raised at Pink! 2008 will help this event will not only help L to r: T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital Foundation Board Chair, Fran
purchase the Dedicated Breast MRI for the create a better environment of Simmons, along with Helen Exum, Dr. and Mrs. Niel Nielson, and Cartter
care in the PICU for our area’s Frierson enjoy the evening’s festivities.
MaryEllen Locher Breast Center.
Sponsorship opport unities ranging most vulnerable children but
from $50,000 to $3,000 are available. For also support child life programs that allow sick kids to still experience the simple joys of
more information about Pink!,contact the childhood while hospitalized,” states Mrs. Taylor.
Overall, the event was deemed a great success by co-chairs Dr. Woody and Carrie Kennedy
Memorial Health Care System Foundation
at (423) 495.4151 or visit www.memorial. and Dr. Jason and Jaime Rehm. “We can’t express enough thanks to the premier sponsor and
host of the event, Porsche of Chattanooga, the donors, builders and designers of the playhouses,
as well as the countless number of volunteers, for their generosity,” said Mrs. Kennedy. Mrs.
Rehm added, “We are extremely grateful for the overwhelming support of everyone who
joined us in raising funds and awareness of the region’s only children’s hospital.”
Rehab South Announces Hutcheson Medical Center Recognizes Employees
Hutcheson strives to recognize its employ-
Its 2008 Fibromyalgia ees for their service and excellence each
and Osteoporosis quarter with an Employee Spotlight Recep-
tion. Individuals are nominated by fellow
Support Groups employees, management and patients for
three categories: patient care, customer ser-
vice and patient care teams. Charles L. Stewart,
CEO recognized the deserving employees this
quarter at a ceremony held in their honor.
The Patient Care Award was given to
Harrel Craven, RN, PCU. An anonymous
entry explains how Mr. Craven exemplifies
Tues., Feb. 12 - Fibromyalgia Support Group
an outstanding employee. “He loves caring (L-R) Charles L. Stewart, President and CEO, presents
Tues., Mar. 11 - Osteoporosis Support Group Spotlight awards to Harrel Craven, Delores Butcher,
for those in need and has been known to
Tues., May 13 - Fibromyalgia Support Group Vivian Camp, Scott Radeker and Randy Wilkes.
pull from working days to work nights and
Tues., Jun. 10 - Osteoporosis Support Group cover PCU when there is a need. With over
34 years of service to HMC, Harrel has a mendous amount of compassion for patients.
Tues., Aug. 12 - Fibromyalgia Support Group
grade ‘A’ work ethic.” I believe that Vivian would do this all over
Tues., Sept. 9 - Osteoporosis Support Group
The recipient of the Customer Service again if the situation should arise.”
The meetings take place at Rehab South, Award was Vivian Camp, in the Admitting
The Patient Care Team Award was given
located at 2158 Northgate Park Lane, Suite department. She was nominated by a fellow
to Scott Radeker, EMS, Randy Wilkes, EMS
102, in Hixson, from 12pm - 1pm. Meet- employee who recognized her compassion.
and Delores Butcher, OSU. These individuals
ings are free to the public, but seating is Vivian helped a cancer patient by providing
were presented with a patient care discharge
limited. Please call (423) 877-4599 to make financial assistance for a hotel room while the
issue and formed a team to visit the patient’s
a reservation. patient was undergoing treatment. The patient home. The fellow employee that nominated
was commuting out of state and could not af- this group remarks, “Scott, Randy and De-
Chattanooga Heart Gala ford a room. Ms. Camp got several businesses lores went far beyond what was expected of
he Chattanooga Heart Gala’s Executive and churches involved with this effort. Her
them on a late Friday afternoon and should
Leadership Team secured over $45,000 in nomination reads, “I believe this shows a tre- be commended.”
sponsorship during its summer fundraising
Medical Alliance and Bank of America
blitz. Members of the team gathered for the
celebration at Erlanger Hospital, who, along
Grants Awarded to Project Access
with BMW of Chattanooga, is presenting
sponsor. The Heart Gala is scheduled Febru- he Chattanooga/Hamilton County Medical than 3,700 individuals
ary 9 at The Chattanoogan Hotel. For infor- Alliance presented a $15,000 check, and Bank have been evaluated
mation call 668-4912. of America presented a $5,000 check to Ham- for eligibility.
ilton County’s Project Access. These generous In addition to 580 volunteer physicians
grants support the organization’s mission to who provide services to patients, the Project Ac-
provide physician care to the working poor who cess partnership includes Erlanger Health Sys-
are without access to health insurance. tem, Memorial Health Care System, Parkridge
Project Access is a physician-led, com- Medical Center Inc., Siskin Hospital, Hamilton
munity-based program that coordinates County Health Department, Memorial Primary
donated voluntary medical care and services Care Centers, Southside and Dodson Avenue
for uninsured people living on fixed or low Health Centers, Volunteers in Medicine, Rehab
income in Hamilton County. The Project Ac- South, and a variety of other partners.
cess Community Health Partnership has pro- To qualify for Project Access, patients
L to r: Belinda Whitten and Nicole Easterday from
vided almost $22 million in free health care must reside in Hamilton County, not have
the American Heart Association, Tom Edd Wilson,
to uninsured residents of Hamilton County access to any health insurance, and not re-
President CEO Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce;
since the program began in April 2004. ceive any state or federal medical benefits.
Bob Main, President CEO of Siskin Hospital for Physical
Project Access was developed through Total family income cannot exceed 150
Rehabilitation; Linda Mosley, Senior Vice President
the Medical Society of Chattanooga-Hamil- percent of the federal poverty level, which is
of Private Client Financial Services of First Tennessee
Bank; Gala Chair Jim Brexler, President and CEO of ton County and Medical Foundation of Chat- $25,755 for a family of three. To learn more
Erlanger Hospital. tanooga. Since the program began, more about Project Access, call 826-0269
The State of
Staying Healthy and
By Charlotte Boatwright, R.N., Ph. D.
ow healthy is Chattanooga and Tennessee compared to other
cities and states in the US? NBC4 in Washington, D.C. rated us
as 44th in the nation, but then all the Southeastern states were at
the bottom of their list. United Health Foundation, in partnership
with the American Public Health Association and Partnership for
Prevention, in its yearly assessment of the relative healthiness
of the nation, declared Minnesota to be the healthiest state in the nation while
Tennessee ranked 47th. Men’s Fitness Magazine lists Seattle as the healthiest city
while Memphis is noted as one of the fattest.
Harvard researchers listed Hawaii as the healthiest state with a life expec-
tancy for men and women of 80 years. The Southeastern states were again at the
bottom of their list. “There are millions of Americans that have life spans the
same as in developing countries,” says Dr. Christopher Murray of the Harvard
School of Health who led the study. “That alone is pretty remarkable, consider-
ing we spend $5,000 a year per person on health care.” However, these research-
ers believe that differences are not directly related to factors most commonly
thought to be associated with disparities such as income, insurance, infant
mortality, AIDS or violence. They say that the most important contributors to
earlier mortality, in order of importance, are tobacco, alcohol, obesity, high
in health screenings and other preventive
blood pressure, high cholesterol, diet and
measures. Numbers 1 and 2 are tied as top
physical inactivity. Murray says that personal
priorities. The committee agrees that many
choices might be more important than ac-
of the causes of illness, disability, and pre-
cess to medical care. “Though 85 percent of
mature death for Hamilton County residents
the population has health insurance, half
are determined by lifestyle and personal
of those with high blood pressure fail to get
it controlled, two-thirds of those with high
Step ONE is a county-wide program
cholesterol do not receive statins to bring it
designed to address the problem of obe-
down and two-thirds of those with diabetes
sity, promote physical fitness and healthy
fail to manage it,” he says.
lifestyles in our community. The Hamilton
Not one state earns a passing grade when
County Health Department and Regional
it comes to women’s health, according to the
Health Council partnered with the county
National Women’s Law Center, the Oregon
mayor to launch this initiative. Other agen-
Health & Science University, and FOCUS on
L to r: Dr. Jim Scales, Ruth Brinkley and Mayor Claude cies, organizations, churches, restaurants,
Health & Leadership for Women at the Uni- Ramsey at a local press conference on childhood
hospitals, insurers, schools, and physicians
versity Of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. obesity.
are being recruited as partners. The Univer-
According to the study, women are second-
working with area restaurants and schools sity of Tennessee at Chattanooga and other
class citizens when it comes to health care
to improve offerings, but we realize that area colleges play active roles. “We are very
in America. More than one in eight women
we are not going to change lifelong eating proud that we were a bit ahead of the curve
lack health insurance, it says, and insur-
habits of people overnight,” he says. “It may recognizing our need for healthier living
ance coverage is “often inadequate to meet
take a generation to persuade people to eat and eating,” says County Mayor, Claude
women’s needs.” This report has Tennessee
better and exercise more. We are working Ramsey. “We initiated our Step ONE pro-
rated as 41st in providing for women’s health
to reduce risks of heart disease and cancer, gram in 2004 with two simple notions to
leading causes of death that are tied to these “Eat Smart” and “Just Move It.” We believe
Changing the Ratings habits. We are placing greater emphasis on these nationally recognized Step ONE initia-
prevention,” he notes.
Ron Blankenbaker, M.D., Chairman, tives are broad enough to be practiced by
The Regional Health Council’s Com- any age group, whether they are youngsters,
Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional
munity Health Planning Committee has young adults or older people. We believe
Health Council’s Health Futures Committee
identified five health priorities. They are: that we have increased awareness about the
says that Chattanooga rates at the bottom
(1) Obesity, diet and exercise, (2) Tobacco importance of changing health habits and
of most healthy city scales, even compared
use, (3) Risky sexual behaviors, (4) Alcohol anticipate that Step ONE will help people to
to other cities in Tennessee, but he believes
and drug use, and (5) Lack of involvement live better, healthier lives and age well.”
that we are gradually changing that. “We are
Health Care Leaders Encourage home to many restaurants that purposely more serious illnesses. I am very proud that
feature menus filled with healthy choices. In Hutcheson has taken several initiatives to
Residents to Utilize Services and looking at our population, regardless of age, I address these problem areas within the north
Improve Health think it’s of particular significance that Chat- Georgia/Chattanooga area. Hutcheson’s
Health Care leaders encourage residents tanooga benefits from a full complement of Diabetic and Thyroid Treatment Center,
to take advantage of the many opportunities healthcare resources. Few communities of Battlefield Auxillary Breast Center and the
to improve their health and age well. “Access our size enjoy such a comprehensive and Fuller Cancer Center have raised the level
to quality health care is of prime impor- varied scope of physicians and healthcare of care.”
tance to ‘aging well’ in facilities, important factors in our ability to
any city, and Chattanoo- remain healthy as we age,” he explains.
Any discussion of health must include
ga is more blessed than Dr. Brian Kalla at
the dimension of spiritual health. Though
many comparably sized Siskin Hospital observed,
not always explainable, spirituality appears
communities,” says Jim “Studies show that the gen-
to be tied to wellness and healing, and for
Brexler, Erlanger Health eral health of the greater
many people, prayer has many positive ben-
Systems President and Chattanooga area is far be-
efits. “I believe in looking holistically at life
CEO. “Erlanger, in part- low the national average.
in general and in terms of health, says Chris
nership with the Univer- This is in large part due
Robinson, Youth Leader at Signal Mountain
sity of Tennessee College to lifestyle issues includ- Dr. Brian Kalla
Presbyterian Church. “If someone knows
Of Medicine, offers the unique benefits of ing poor diet and tobacco
that they are being cared for, prayed for and
an academic medical center, superior patient use. The unhealthy diet leads to obesity and
comforted by prayer, my guess is that there
care driven by cutting edge technology, ac- diabetes, which contribute to an increased
is a relationship to a longer life. Interact-
cess to the latest clinical protocols and ex- incidence of heart disease and stroke, as well
ing with another person makes life more
ceptional physician faculty,” he notes. “Each as multiple other diseases. Dietary changes,
meaningful, but to interact with our Father,
month our Community Relations program regular exercise and smoking cessation could
a Supreme Being who cares for us, would
offers numerous low and no-cost health make a positive impact on the general health
have to add to life in length and fulfillment,”
screenings, classes and fitness opportunities. of this region.”
For more than a century Erlanger has been According to Hamil-
dedicated to the wellness of citizens of every ton Health Care System We Have The Power
age in our community. That commitment President and CEO, John In many instances, we have the power
continues today,” says Brexler. S. Bowling, the key health to determine our state of health and our
Ruth Brinkley, issues in northwest Geor- quality of life by the choices we make. Many
President and CEO, Me- gia emanate from the large programs, services and public facilities sup-
morial Health Care Sys- carpet and flooring work- port efforts of residents to develop healthy
John S. Bowling
tem believes Chattanooga force. Disease management,
offers many key oppor- focusing on areas like diabetes and heart
t unities for adults for disease, is emerging as a key collaborative op-
aging well. “In addition portunity to improve community health and
to the availability of good contain rising health care costs. Hamilton
health care, we have ex- Health Care System, headquartered in Dalton,
cellent recreational, cul- Georgia, continues to position itself as the
tural, and social opportunities that give bal- region’s referral center through technology
ance to our lives,” she says. “Our churches and facility enhancements in cardiac, vascu-
offer programs to add spiritual depth and lar, emergency and women’s health. Bowling
encourage people to have a purpose beyond reports that Hamilton seeks to strengthen
themselves, a commitment to serve and help its ties with area physicians and employers
others. All of these things are important to while continuing its reputation for quality,
aging well, and Chattanooga is a beauti- safety and service. lifest yles. We have st unning riverfront
ful and abundantly rich place to find what Charles Stew- walkways, abundant parks and green space,
you need at every age for healthy living.” art, President and CEO, plentiful recreational facilities, and health
Brinkley says that in order to age well, it’s Hutcheson Medical Center clubs catering to individual needs. Oppor-
important to begin at an early age practic- adds, “The current state of tunities for rock climbing, hiking, running
ing good health habits that address physical, health care in the Chatta- and biking abound. We are continually re-
spiritual, and emotional needs. Memorial’s nooga and north Georgia minded of the impact that even minimum
Parish Nurse Program makes healthy living region is excellent as far Charles Stewart levels of exercise and activity have on both
information even more available by putting as choices, but regrettably mind and body.
it out in area churches. our region continues to rank poorly in sev- In a country that has added more than
Darrell Moore, Parkridge Medical eral areas such as obesity, which contributes 30 years to life expectancy over the past 100
Center CEO notes, “The health of Chatta- to a high incidence of diabetes, cancer and years, living to 100 is no longer unusual.
noogans is impacted in so other weight related problems.” According Though genetic makeup may account for
many ways by the person- to Mr. Stewart, smoking and tobacco use up to a third of a person’s longevity, knowl-
al choices we make,” He also remains a major concern for the area, edge about how to maintain the quality of
added, “By the nature of causing higher levels of lung related illnesses life is mushrooming. What this informa-
our surroundings, we can including cancer and chronic obstructive tion means to us and how it translates to
choose to do everything pulmonary disease. He noted, “Options for healthier lives remains largely in the hands
from mountain climbing treatment in our area are plentiful, but a of the residents who must put it to work for
to walking along the river- significant issue is the lack of preventative themselves.
front. Chattanooga is also care that could help many people avoid
A Good Life is Well Lived
By Th o m a s L . C o ry, P h . D.
“And in the end, it’s not the
years in your life that counts,
it’s the life in your years.”
We are an aging society. Ameri-
cans 65 and older now comprise
more than 13% of our popula-
tion. The number of centenarians
in our country topped 70,000 in
2006. And our life expectancy
continues to slowly increase.
Now consider this: Beca Levy, Ph.D. of Yale University stud-
ied pretty much the entire over 60 population of Oxford, Ohio
for many years. Dr. Levy was particularly interested in what fac-
tors predicted longevity. Here’s what she found: An individual’s
attitude towards aging was a better predictor of longevity than
virtually any other measured factor. Individuals with a positive
attitude towards aging at age 60 tended to live, on the average,
more than seven and a half years longer than those with a negative
attitude. A positive attitude toward aging was, in fact, a better
predictor of longevity than cholesterol level, amount of exercise,
or whether the individual did or did not smoke.
Fascinating… in a culture that in many until it is your time to gracefully depart this
ways still denigrates aging with jokes about earth. As Cicero points out, it is your attitude
“senior moments,” rocking chairs, botox, and your beliefs about aging that will deter-
and senility, the best predictor of longev- mine the quality of your later years.
ity is a positive attitude towards aging. But And he’s right. Just as the subjects who
we’re ahead of our story, in fact, about 2000 had a positive attitude toward aging were
years ahead. found to live longer, on average by seven
Good Roman Advice
and a half years in Dr. Levy’s study, other
research strongly suggests that if you believe
your memory will decline as you get older,
“All would live long, but none would be old.”
you’re right. On the other hand, if you be-
lieve you can keep your memory healthy and
The Roman statesman-philosopher Mar- functional as you age, you’re also right. But
cus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BCE) spent con- that’s not the end of the story.
siderable time thinking, and writing, about
Back to the Future
aging. In his essay “De senectute,” (On Old
Age) Cicero writes, “...I find that there are four
reasons for old age being thought unhappy; First,
that it withdraws us from active employments;
second, that it enfeebles the body; third, that “The only way to make friends with time is to make
it deprives us of nearly all physical pleasures; friends with people.”
—Robert McAfee Brown
fourth, that it is the next step to death.”
Well, needless to say, Cicero—well over
Since about the mid-1960s psychologists,
60 when he wrote “De senectute,” then goes
psychiatrists, and sociologists have been
to some length to rebut each of these rather
familiar sounding stereotypes and further- struggling with the concept of “Successful
more to offer surprisingly contemporary Aging.” While everyone seems to agree that
sounding advice on how to age with grace successful aging has to have something to do
with happiness and life satisfaction, it turns
For example, he points out that … “The out that no one can quite agree on what these
great affairs of life are not performed by physi- terms mean. So lets briefly review some of
cal strength or activity, or nimbleness of body, the theories of “successful aging” and what it
but by deliberation, charaction, and expression entails. What we’ll find is that the definition
of opinion. Of these, old age is not only not of successful aging has changed any number
deprived, but, as a rule, has them in greater of times over the past few decades.
Back in the 1960s, we had the “disen-
And how about the belief that memory gagement theory” of aging which proposed,
fails with age? Again, let’s consider Cicero’s essentially that “in the normal course of
answer: “But it is said, memory dwindles. aging, people gradually withdrew or disen-
No doubt, unless you keep it in practice or if gaged from social roles as a natural response
you happen to be somewhat dull by nature... to lessened capabilities and diminished
old men retain their intellects well enough, if interest...the successfully aging person
only they keep their minds active and fully willingly retires from work or family life
and contentedly takes to a rocking chair.”
Cicero would be gratified, but certainly
Well somehow I don’t think the A ARP
not surprised, to find that several recent stud-
ies by the American Psychological Associa- would be too excited about that theory. Nor,
tion’s Task Force on Aging have found that as it turns out, were researchers in the 1970s
humans in later years have far more physi- who came up with the “activity theory.”
cal and mental health than was previously Now according to this much more palatable
thought. For example, physiological studies theory, people were seen to age most suc-
indicate that adults continue to grow new cessfully when “they participate in a full
brain cells throughout life. Other studies round of daily activities, that is… keep busy.”
clearly indicate that memory and cognitive —Lemon et al., 1972
Okay, this theory sounds more prom-
abilities do not automatically decline with
aging and, in those cases where some decline ising and actually guided national policy
does occur, memory loss can be reversed throughout several decades. Keep the elderly
through regular mental exercises and daily busy and they’ll be happy. So what could be
wrong with that idea? Makes sense. Except
Now, if they’d just read Cicero... well, for one, well actually several, small problems.
without belaboring the point, Cicero also has I.e.: Busy at what? Does everyone over 60
little patience with the idea that the elderly or 70 enjoy the same activities? Not likely.
are by definition “weak and feeble.” Inter- And we do know that older people are not
estingly, he suggests that you can remain all the same, that many people prefer less
vigorous and keep up your strengths through structured lives.
So we then came up with the “continu-
long walks, gardening, etc., and that by living
wisely you can stay happy and productive ity theory,” which proposes that the people
1. A high level of engagement with life.
2. Low risk of disease.
3. High physical and cognitive functioning.
Interestingly enough, the UCL A re-
searchers found that socialization and
moderate physical activity helped maintain
a high level of cognitive functioning not
only among their healthy subjects but also
among those subjects with chronic physical
So if we define successful aging at least
partially in terms of a reasonably high level
of cognitive functioning, interacting with
others and staying physically active are
pretty important. In Eastern cultures such
as China, Japan, Thailand, and Tibet, they’ve
know this for centuries. Not to mention
Okinawa with a disproportionately high
percentage of healthy, active elderly. In their
society, the elderly are respected for their
wisdom and experience, often consulted
regarding important personal matter, and,
as a matter of course, expected to stay active
and productive members of society as long
as possible. No mandatory retirement age,
no assisted living. Interesting… . Evidently,
when aging is considered in the context of
experience gained and knowledge to pass on,
the elderly do better.
It is this staying involved with life that I
feel really is at the heart of successful aging.
And while for many individuals this involve-
ment equates to an active social life, research
and personal observation suggest that an ac-
tive pursuit of life-long learning is another
key element in staying involved. Retirement
and the years after provide an opportunity
to pursue college courses—often available at
no or minimal cost—for the elderly. Courses
in art, history, science, literature are all there
for the asking.
Think about this: There is a retirement
community in New England, run by Las-
sel University, that requires, as one of the
covenants for living there, that residents
spend 450 hours a year in some form of ac-
tive learning. You can take college courses,
teach a course yourself, attend lectures by
guest speakers, etc. Someone has clearly
figured out that life-long learning enhances
the quality of life.
who age most successfully are those who do agree on, its that quality of life is more
There’s more. Staying involved with life
“carry forward the habits, preferences, life- important than mere length of life.
also means contributing to life in meaning-
styles and relationships from midlife into
ful ways. Mentoring, doing volunteer work,
A Good Life Well Lived
late life.” In other words, those adults who
the possibilities are endless. For those of us
age successfully basically keep on doing
who aren’t quite there yet—as Oliver Wendell
pretty much what they’ve done from their “People like you and I, though mortal of course, do
Holmes wrote, “Old age is l5 years older than
midlife on, provided their midlife was happy. not grow old, no matter how long we live...(We)
I am” — it is our responsibility to make sure
But suppose their midlife wasn’t happy? never cease to stand like curious children before that as people age they still have the oppor-
More recently, we’ve begun to develop the great mystery into which we were born.”
tunity to contribute.
viable models of successful aging, models
—Albert Einstein In fact, I would argue—and I believe the
that recognize individual differences while
research supports this—that graceful aging
emphasizing the positive possibilities of The UCLA School of Medicine recently is aging engaged in life, not life seen from
aging. And thankfully, we’ve gotten totally interviewed and studied 1200 adults between
a rocking chair. But how about asking the
away from equating length of life to success- the ages of 70-99. Their results indicated that
elderly to define what they see as successful
ful aging. If there’s one thing researchers successful aging could be defined as:
aging. A recent study in the American Journal
And how about your proximity to death?
Once again, consider Cicero, not to mention
a bunch of other philosophers and theoreti-
cians, who basically says “get over it.”
In fact Cicero makes the rather obvious
point that the only thing your mortality
should encourage you to do is live your life
to the fullest, develop your spiritual self,
and stop wasting time. Tough to improve
on those ideas.
And In Summary…
“None are so old as those who have outlived
enthusiasm. —Henry David Thoreau
So let’s review what you can do to age
with grace and dignity.
• Begin now to develop a lifestyle that is
happy and fulfilling. See aging as simply
an opportunity to devote more time to
• Remember that successful aging is based
on life-long learning. Actively pursue
your interests. Take college courses, go
on elder hostel trips, read, watch edu-
• Keep contributing. Don’t allow anyone
to tell you you’re too old to help others
or your community.
• Stay reasonably active. If sports and ex-
ercise aren’t your thing that’s okay, but
at least go for a walk, garden, wash your
car, play golf. Don’t let your body rust.
• Stay involved with others. Meet new
people. Join a club that interests you. If
you’ve always been something of a loner
that’s okay too, but again consider what
you can do to help others.
• And remember, even if you become
physically dependent on others, your
mind still works. You may have to re-
mind your caretakers of this from time
to time and that’s okay too.
My hope is that by considering the ideas
and research presented in this article you
might reconsider your ideas about the elderly
and what constitutes successful aging. Life
satisfaction, happiness, self-esteem, a sense
of having value and importance to others, all
these are clearly characteristics of those who
age with grace. If you are not yet a member
of Geriatric Psychology notes that “according our independence at the expense of theirs.
But how about the elderly who do need of what is often now referred to as “third-
to seniors,” successful aging involves:
assistance, the population we sometimes agers,” now is the time to construct a style
a. Active participation in a variety of inter-
refer to as the “frail elderly?” Or those with and quality of life that you can continue as
esting and fulfilling social and intellec-
Alzheimer’s disease? The error we make is long as possible. Yes, your body will change,
assuming that there really is little we can do eventually your mobility will be limited, but
for these individuals. And yet research is be- there is always something to learn, someone
b. Developing more close friendships.
ginning to show that even those individuals to help, a life to live.
c. Meaningful and positive interactions with
in a state of dependency can find satisfaction Tom Cory has lived in Chattanooga for 35 years.
and meaning in their lives if we’re willing to He is a graduate of the College of William and
d. As much independence as possible. give them a chance. Providing stimulation Mary and Miami University where he received his
for the frail elderly in the form of family and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Today he practices
Again, shades of Cicero. Perhaps our ten-
social interaction, music, art, and appropri- clinical psychology specializing in interpersonal
dency to place our relatives in assisted living
ate physical movement clearly improves the and marital therapy. Tom can be reached at
as soon as we can really isn’t necessarily in
quality of their lives.
their best interest. Perhaps we’re protecting email@example.com.
Best The War
By Linda Benton
aby Boomers have hit middle age and for many there’s a war going
on — a war on wrinkles that is! As America’s baby boomer population
reaches their golden years, this fit and active generation is not giving
up on their youthful appearance without a fight. Long devoted to
proper nutrition and regular exercise, many baby boomers say they
feel as good as they did in their 30’s. However, as boomers approach their 40’s,
50’s and 60’s, slowing or reversing the natural aging process of the skin is a
whole new battle.
According to a recent article in Time Magazine, it is estimated that Americans
are likely to spend over $14 billion to rejuvenate their aging faces in 2007. And
with a plethora of options, including many new injectables, light therapies, laser
resurfacing, chemical peels and anti-wrinkle creams, it’s difficult to know what’s
best. Ads all promise short-to-no recovery periods and in many cases, immedi-
ate results. While “boomers” might agree that the temptation to look better is
hard to resist, experts in the field encourage becoming fully educated before
spending hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars on any cosmetic treatments,
procedures, or creams.
Dr. Art von Werssowetz, a board certified plastic surgeon with Associates
in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, suggests that individuals take the time to
understand the anatomy of skin in order to get the results they desire. “As people
age, the skin changes in a variety of ways,” says Dr. von Werssowetz. “The elastic
fibers that once held skin firmly in place begin to breakdown, allowing skin to
sag or droop. In addition, the outer layer of the skin, called keratin, changes as
fewer skins cells are produced and the dead cells accumulate on the surface of the