How to Age Well
By Brad Lucht
We all get old. It’s the aging that takes its toll. Fortunately there is a way to help hold off the effects of aging, allowing you to enjoy a longer, independent life.
Ann Xenos, Senior Care Services Manager at Sister Margaret’s Senior Clinic, will discuss what you can do to mitigate the effects of aging in a talk on “Aging Well”, to be held at Villa Ventura, 120th and Wornall Rd., on Tuesday, January 30, starting at 4:30 pm. The retirement center will feature its signature programs such as BrainFitness, Laughter Yoga, Dakim and more.
According to the study “United States of Aging,” conducted by the National Council on Aging and UnitedHealthcare, 75 percent of seniors intend to live in their homes for the rest of their lives. Their top concern is maintaining their physical health, yet only 42 percent feel they are very prepared to age in their homes.
Xenos and the rest at the staff at the clinic are hoping to change that. Their guiding focus is to help seniors age well, and is targeted at those who want to stay in their own homes.
“Helping people recognize what might cause them to lose their autonomy and how to overcome it before it changes their whole life is the biggest gift we can give people,” Xenos says.
“Taking care of the elderly was something you just do,” says Dr. Kevin Farrell. Now it is his calling. Farrell is medical director of the Sister Margaret’s Senior Clinic. He was raised in a family with sick grandparents and grew up watching his parents care for them.
“As we age, the number one thing we start to worry about is our loss of autonomy,” Farrell explains. “You only need to do a few basic things to be able to stay in your home. You need to be able to dress yourself. You need to be able to feed yourself. You need to be able to toilet yourself. These are a few basic things you need to be able to do.
“The things that cause you not to be able to do that are really kind of limited,” Farrell continues. “If we analyze you, figure out where the potential problems are, figure out what you are in the midst of, and then start reversing those, that’s how we keep you in the community.”
Screening for potential problems
To that end, the clinic offers a free physical wellness screening, which is an all-inclusive strength and balance evaluation, free nutritional counseling with a registered and licensed dietitian, and free healthy heart screening, designed to detect peripheral artery disease.
Other screenings offered by the clinic include medication counseling with a certified geriatric pharmacist; healthy mind screening performed by an experienced geriatric clinician; and healthy lung screening performed by a respiratory therapist.
“No other hospital has a structured program like this,” Farrell explained. ”We are a resource for both the community and physicians.”
To register for the program, call Villa Ventura at 816-941-0525. Seating begins at 4:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. Villa Ventura is located at 12100 Wornall Road
To make an appointment at Sister Margaret’s Senior Clinic for your healthy aging screening, call 816-943-5755. Sister Margaret’s Senior Clinic is located on the first floor of Carondelet Medical Building A, 1010 Carondolet, Suite 120.