Article submitted by Jolyn Parker, VP External Relations, San Diego Oasis
According to the California Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 65 percent of Californians ages 65 and older have at least two chronic conditions. In 2015, 24 percent were diagnosed with diabetes. A recent San Diego County Senior Health Report showed that 56 percent of older adults living in the County were overweight or obese, a risk factor for chronic diseases that include diabetes, cancer, arthritis, high blood pressure and heart disease.
To help combat this growing epidemic, San Diego Oasis and Anthem Blue Cross Foundation have teamed up to create ways for older adults to change small habits that may improve their longevity and help them remain healthy and independent.
Healthy Habits for Adults is a series of weekly, one-hour, interactive classes on topics that range from low-impact exercise to making healthy food choices. Classes are held at convenient community locations including libraries, hospitals, places of worship, senior centers and other San Diego Oasis locations. Classes are led by peer volunteers who understand the nutrition and exercise challenges that older adults face.
“For many chronic diseases, what you eat is important for preventing or managing the disease,” said Sue Picus, Registered Dietician and Oasis Healthy Habits peer group volunteer. “But what’s in the grocery store is very different today than 30 years ago. Some of the biggest challenges older adults have is navigating all the choices available and figuring out how to eat healthy on a budget.”
Eating well, getting regular physical exercise and continuing to stimulate the mind allows older adults to live independently longer, preventing social isolation and slowing the onset of disease. After attending a San Diego Oasis Healthy Habits seminar, participants were motivated to improve their health and:
For more information on Healthy Habits for Adults and other San Diego Oasis classes, visit www.sandiegooasis.org or call 619-881-6262.