Rachel Tritaik of Island Therapy Center addresses Rotary at The Dunes on Jan. 8. Rotary photo
Rachel Tritaik of Island Therapy Center addresses Rotary at The Dunes on Jan. 8. Rotary photo

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following report from the Rotary Club of Sanibel Captiva meeting at The Dunes Golf and Tennis Club on Friday, Jan. 8, was submitted by Shirley Jewell of the Rotary Club.

How many of us on midnight of 2015 pledged to ourselves that 2016 would be the year that we would take better physical care of ourselves? And how many of us, just didn’t bother even thinking about this?  Well, Rachel Tritaik owner of the Island Therapy Center on Sanibel and our guest speaker this past week at Rotary gave us a number of reasons why all of us, no matter our age or body condition, should make an effort to keep moving and staying positive toward leading the best life possible. 

The Island Therapy Center usually comes into our life when our doctor prescribes treatment and therapy of some sort to help the healing process for some immobility of a body part.  Physical mobility is one of the keys to living a full life. 

Rachael’s topic for the morning “How to stay out of a nursing home or stay as independent as possible”. 

Americans are living longer and an awareness of the strain on family finances and how our caretakers might handle the stress and toll of caring for us, as we age, makes it definitely worth the effort to create a plan arranging to stay as independent as possible, for as long as possible. 

Rachael gave us these grim annual statistics:

·         Over 8.3 million each year are using paid long-term care services (home health agencies, nursing homes, hospice, residential care communities, and adult day service centers).

·         Cost for that…$219.9 billion.

·         43.5 million unpaid informal/family members are helping adults 65+ with daily activities (bathing, dressing, feeding, etc)

·         30 percent (13 million) caregiver are also 65+.

The American population is aging and soon an estimated 250,000 baby boomers will be reaching retirement age putting a strain on our health care system and more than likely increasing monetary costs for healthcare services. Planning your own health care future is essential; talk with your family about this while you are still healthy. 

Take control and responsibility for your own future today.  Mobility is important to independent living.  Audit your home for any obstacles hindering that mobility.  At some point in time, if necessary you might need a wheelchair or walker, make necessary changes to your home now.  Arrange to widen your doorways to the kitchen and bathrooms, take up the carpets, get rid of the clutter, and add more light in your home… think ahead. 

Rachael spoke about how important having a good attitude is in helping your body repair and contend with some age-related physical conditions.  Get rid of those negative feelings; old age is not a disease, but it is a challenge.  Live now, don’t limit yourself and your activities unless absolutely necessary.  Get outside, enjoy life, keep up social connections, and have fun.  Keep moving, ever hear of chair dancing, sit tall, exercise your brain, exercise your body, stretch your hip muscles, do balance exercises, and challenge yourself.  A positive attitude brings positive results.  Be nice to others and others will be nice to you.  Move it, or lose it. 

Rachel’s top five activities to keep you out of a nursing home:

·         Stand on one leg 10 seconds (if easy, eyes closed)

·         Sit to stand with no hands (5 to 10 times, if easy)

·         Sit and stand tall (corset/back to wall)

·         Kegels in car

·         Lie on belly (if easy, get down on floor and back up)

Sanibel-Captiva Rotary has returned to The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club for its 7 a.m. Friday morning meetings. As usual, guests are always welcome. Come check out the recent Dunes clubhouse renovations, have a wonderful buffet breakfast, meet great people, and enjoy outstanding speakers.