Let’s be honest: for most people, aging sucks.
Six million people in the US—outside of institutions, mind you—are wheelchair bound.
Two million in the US are either in nursing homes or assisted living.
And a whopping 50% of those will die within 12 months of entering such a facility.
Millions more are unable to participate in recreational activities.
And, as most people know, the last five years of life—particularly if you haven’t been paying attention to your health—are pretty grim.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Last year, after almost 27 years in the weight loss industry, I decided to change my focus a bit. After all, most people who want to lose weight are looking to do so because they believe losing weight will change their life for the better. So why not just address the issues that make life better? Sure, weight loss might be part of that, but it’s definitely not the whole deal.
I decided to expand my “portfolio,” if you will, and start talking more to one of the most underserved populations on the planet—older men.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Women have their own sets of issues about aging, many of them overlapping with ours, but some unique to women (just as we have issues that are unique to us). One difference: There have always been champions of women, brilliant and inspiring writers and practitioners like Christiane Northrup, MD, whose book, The Wisdom of Menopause casts aging in a whole different light, or the great Tieraona Low Dog, MD, whose unique brand of earth-mother wisdom and encyclopedic medical knowledge has also recast the whole notion of what it means to be a woman in the second half of life.
But for men? Not so much.
So in this column (and the next one) I’m going to focus specifically on men and men’s issues. Having counseled many of these men myself, having socialized with them on the tennis court for over a decade, and having talked extensively to the physicians around the country who treat them, I can say…