HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

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WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

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companies have where there are medications at a reduced fee,” said Hohenecker.


Asthma is a lifelong challenge. “As you get older, you become less sensitized and do better as an adult,” said Hohenecker. To combat asthma, adults use rescue inhalers and some type of maintenance inhaler, such as corticosteroid. While it can be hard work, it is possible to live well even with asthma.

AGING WITH ASTHMA

As with any condition, some people do better with asthma than others. “A lot depends on how severe your attacks are and how well you do with the regimen,” said Hohenecker. “For some people it does not get them down, and others it seems to wipe out.”


There is no surefire prevention for asthma, but some tips work for all ages. “Be aware of your surroundings,” said Hohenecker. “You might have something setting off your asthma, like in spring when things are in bloom or in winter where you forget to change the furnace filters often enough and there is dust in your home.”


Some new medications are now available to treat asthma. “There are some pill-form medications that a patient can take now,” said Hohenecker. “There is always a new blood thinner or cholesterol medication coming out, but asthma seems to lag behind all the time.”


People need to know that asthma can become more severe at any time, which makes it critical to take medications as they are prescribed. “If you cannot afford them as prescribed, you need to check into some of the programs that a lot of

JAMIE LOBER





Jamie Lober is a Staff Writer for Living Well 60+ Magazine

Asthma is a condition that changes during different ages and stages of your life.


“Usually it is recognized early in children because they have allergic components, like watery eyes, runny nose and persistent chest colds, whereas in adults it is manifested differently,” said Kurt Hohenecker, a respiratory care specialist.


Some people are more susceptible to asthma than others. “Sometimes people are so sensitive that strong fumes like colognes can set their breathing problems off and set asthma into overdrive,” said Hohenecker.


By understanding what is happening, you can get a better grasp of just what asthma is and what it does. “The body releases histamines in response to allergic components,” said Hohenecker. “Sometimes the patient will inhale cold air, and the airways are sensitive, which causes bronchospasms. Or nothing may set it off and it just happens.”


Diagnosing asthma can be complex; it involves a physical exam and a checking of breathing sounds. “The physician would want to do spirometry testing,” said Hohenecker. “It involves the patient blowing out as hard and fast as they can [into a] device [that] measures airway obstruction, which is how much of the airways are collapsing due to allergic components.”