Aging Gracefully

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Age may just be a number, but when the numbers start adding up, so do the stereotypes. One geriatrician is on a mission to dispel the negative mindset that getting older means getting worse.

At 92 and 88, Roland and Lucienne Lee are so comfortable together; you'd think they'd be celebrating a 50 year anniversary. But they've only been married for 10 years.

Roland told Ivanhoe; "We dated for about a year, didn't we?" Lucienne responded, "We were married after a month!" "A month? Was it that fast? You work pretty fast," Roland replied. "It was your idea. I wanted to live in sin; he wanted to get married," Lucienne explained.

All kidding aside, both Ronald and Lucienne have a keen understanding about their advancing years.

Bill Thomas, MD, Geriatrician told Ivanhoe, "It's not about how fast you can run or how high you can jump. It's about how much you understand and how much you're able to give back to the world, that's aging."

Dr. Thomas was a geriatrician who now travels the country performing what he calls "Non-fiction Theater." When it comes to aging, he focuses on three simple ideas. The first: move well.

"People who move best in old age are the people who keep moving," Dr. Thomas explained.

Next, sleep well. Dr. Thomas said, "Older people can have greater sleep fragmentation, and are awake more during the night, its normal, no problem."

Last, but not least: eat well, and he's not talking about counting carbs.

"It turns out that eating and sharing meals together is a really important part of our health. If you only ever eat alone, you're missing something vital," he said.

Lucienne told Ivanhoe, "I hope that he goes before me or both together. That would be the best way." Roland replied, "Okay, I can do that." Lucienne said, "Don't get any ideas and crash the car or anything," and for heaven's sake, don't stop laughing.

Thomas says people who focus their energy outward, on friends, family and new hobbies and experiences, tend to have the highest degree of happiness and well-being, compared to people who just think about themselves and their aches and pains.

For more information, contact:

Bill Thomas, MD
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.