Living Long Living Well
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”Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and the most inhumane.“ – Martin Luther King, Jr. Living Long Living Well Raye Richardson, PhD Hosea Thomas, MD, MPH Raye Richardson’s, PhD voice has a gleeful tone in it as she He/she can monitor your health, answer your questions, shares her views on living a long and good life. “There are and talk with you about your concerns. joys at every age. I’m living a new reality at 86, and I have • Make sure you have beautiful things around you. new possibilities for joy.” These don’t have to be expensive or elaborate. A pretty picture, a flower, or a special piece of fabric can all bring Dr. Richardson feels strongly that being involved is the key beauty into your life. to being happy. “It’s such a big world and you only experi- • Coping with the losses in life are very difficult for all of ence a very small piece. Within that piece, you have to us. Many elderly people outlive spouses, family members, do a lot of exploration.” Dr. Richardson has lived her life friends and neighbors. Talking to someone – friends, clergy, exploring, learning, and giving to the community. She was or a mental health professional – oftentimes helps. an Associate Professor of Black Studies at San Francisco State University and, along with her husband Julian, raised In addition to offering tips for seniors, Dr. Thomas emphasizes four children, and in 1960 founded Marcus Books. that “we are all in training on how we are going to behave when we are elderly. If we are doing things now to develop Hosea Thomas, MD, MPH, Chief of Staff of the Medical healthy habits and to learn coping skills, we will be more Service at Laguna Honda Hospital agrees with Dr. Richardson’s likely to live well when we are seniors.” approach to life. He stresses that one of the main concerns with seniors is that they will become socially isolated. Dr. Richardson lives what she believes. She is still involved Staying engaged with others and getting and giving in the running of Marcus Books, is active in the community, support are important ingredients to living well and being and is the much loved matriarch of her family. Dr. Richardson happy. Dr. Thomas also stresses that successful living is exercises at the gym three times a week, takes her medication not necessarily being free of disease. Many chronic diseases as prescribed, doesn’t smoke, and eats well. She reminds us – can be managed well. “Do what makes you happy in this moment, because this is the moment you have. And – always remember to laugh.” Dr. Thomas emphasizes the need to practice these healthy life habits at every age: Physician Referrals Resources in San Francisco • Regular exercise will make you feel better physically Physician Referrals Resources in San Francisco: and emotionally. You don’t have to join a gym to be active. California Pacific Medical Center: 888-637-2762 Walking is one of the best ways to exercise and walking Chinese Hospital: 415-677-2365 with others is a great way to spend time with people. If Kaiser Permanente San Francisco: 415-833-3450 leaving your house is a problem, you can walk – or dance – Saint Francis Memorial Hospital: 415-353-6566 St. Luke’s Hospital: 415-821-3627 at home. St. Mary’s Medical Center: 800-444-2303 • Eat balanced meals. Remember to prepare a special San Francisco General Hospital: 415-206-5176 meal for yourself – even if you only do it occasionally. Try UCSF Medical Center: 888-689-8273 to have of couple a meals a week with friends. You can VA Medical Center San Francisco: 415-221-4810 x2234 call someone on the telephone and “eat together.” Friendship Line for the Elderly 415-752-3778 • Mental activity is key in keeping your mind alert. Telephone hotline that provides emotional support, Activities such as reading, crossword puzzles, writing, information and referrals to elderly callers and their families. and jigsaw puzzles can be fun and challenging. Find ways 8:00AM-11:00PM – emotional support to do some of these activities with others. If you have 11:00PM-8:00AM – crisis intervention difficulty getting out of the house, ask a friend to read the same book so you can talk about it on the phone. For more information, visit www.hospitalcouncil.net click on the African American Health Disparity Project tab or email • Regular check-ups with your physician are important. email@example.com or phone the Hospital Council at 415-616-9990. Participating Hospitals: California Pacific Medical Center, Chinese Hospital, Jewish Home, African American Kaiser Permanente San Francisco, Laguna Honda Hospital, Saint Francis Memorial Hospital, H E A LT H D I S PA R I T Y P R O J E C T St. Luke’s Hospital, St. Mary’s Medical Center, San Francisco General Hospital, UCSF Medical San Francisco Center, VA Medical Center - San Francisco.