Hello dear friends and readers,
I was on the radio today.
http://overseasradio.com/ashley-rogers-and-michel-blanchard/ See the archives for January 5, 2015 for the download.
Big oops. My hostess was stellar. I was energetically flat for a subject I am so passionate about, and a bit off point. I know better. Am praying to redeem myself on another program later. 😉
Here below are a few observations I had intended to clarify:
I have lived or worked in over 40 countries and am truly blessed that I have maintained my health with the exception of being thrown from the back of a Vespa in Rome, Italy – Vespa hit by a truck – two cracked vertebrae. I fortunately healed and have no residual effects.
This experience, among others, led to one important point of our radio chat…
No matter where you choose to live, please give thought to your physical and mental well-being, especially if you are over 50. Self-care is everything for your future, though accidents are sometimes not in our control.
We are all subject to falls despite the place we choose to reside in or travel to. In Ecuador, where sidewalks are rarely flat, smooth, and wide, you can unwittingly fall into ditches, and the street. You can also trip on exposed rebar and protruding cement edges. When it rains, you can glide right across the marble and shiny tiles in front of buildings and splat. Do you want broken bones? Plan on looking down a lot and being mindful.
We are not all made the same when it comes to oxygen intake. The altitude in most Andean cities is between 6,000 and 9,500 feet. Some who are new to high altitude adjust well, others do not and do not know it. I recommend bringing a blood pressure cuff and reading your blood pressure each day. Also, as one ages, I am told we receive less oxygen into our bodies than when we are younger. Options: bring liquid oxygen drops (haven’t found them here) drink coca de mate tea easily found in any store, go slowly, or, move to a lower elevation. The North American community has lost members who arrived with no chronic health conditions and a clean bill of health – they unwittingly succumbed because of the oxygen issue. These incidents remind me of the childhood story of Heidi and the fresh mountain air in Switzerland that healed her. I had always concluded that high elevation would be good for me or anyone else. Patrick Coady of http://www.southamericanhealth.com has written a fine article about living at high altitude and how to handle it:
If you plan to live in Ecuador, make certain to create a Constancia or a Documentacion Juramentada for end-of-life arrangements. Your Advanced Health Care Directive or your Five Wishes are not valid in the country even if notarized, apostilled and translated into Spanish. Again, your North American documents will not be recognized. If you wish to be cremated this is especially important. The number of days and bureaucracy required for your loved ones to negotiate the system is more than challenging, especially if they are grieving and far away. Different culture, different mentality.
Health Care Prevention and Emergencies in Cuenca in brief:
I had not intended to sound like an advertisement for people whose work I admire, but there is no getting around it. Trainers Ken Dobberpuhl of ZealCenter.com, Chelsea Gary at http://www.shaome.com, and Sky Rajewski will help you stay in shape if you have balance issues or injuries. They will also recommend physical therapists. They focus on keeping you well.
In 2014, the In Case of Emergency Cuenca volunteer team created lists of health-related emergency resources. You can locate the information on a local church web site, http://www.internationalchristiancommunity.org/health-resources.html. The names include providers who speak English – but please beware, you are provided with lists, not recommendations. Do your due diligence as you would in your country of origin or elsewhere as to the person or persons whom you will feel comfortable with. The church kindly provided space for the In Case of Emergency Cuenca team to deliver free seminars of interest to Europeans and North Americans residing in the city in 2014. The next seminar will focus on End-of-Life and is planned for sometime in spring 2015. Look for announcements on on-line newsletters Gringo Post and Gringo Tree.
Other holistic mentions for Cuenca:
Cuenca Holistic Network founded by psychologist Robert Higgins, a group of North American and Ecuadorian alternative healthcare workers www.CuencaHolisticHealth.com
Patrick Coady and Silvana Spano of http://www.SouthAmericanHealth.com
Dr. Hugo Alvarez, MD and naturopath, a Cuencano who lived 25 years in Canada
Dr. Francisco Malo Tamariz, General Medicine and Ayurveda
Other MD’s are on the church web site link above.
When discussing senior health care in Latin America, the quality of care in Mexico was inadvertently omitted. In many cities, medical care is truly excellent. Assisted living in Mexico is often on a par with the U.S., depending what state and city of Mexico you are in, and as in the U.S., what funds you have. The “carino” that was mentioned is also prevalent in Mexico. Cuba, a leader is gerontology, has waiting lists at assisted living homes. This is due to current economics. Chile, also a leader in gerontology, has sophisticated senior care in Santiago.