The final post in this year’s Blogging from A to Z Challenge and fittingly it is a subject that looks to the future. My theme for the month has been ‘Age Proof Your Life”. My posts have included ideas that we can all do as individuals as well as some that work at the level of a whole community or government policy.
I began this blog because I was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust travel award in 2011 and it is also satisfying that my final post is inspired by the work of another Churchill Fellow, Jan McClory. I heard Jan speak at the recent AGM of the Scottish Association of Churchill Fellows. Her subject was “Old and Healthy? Can Scottish Communities ever become Blue Zones?
Jan is a Social Worker based in Scotland and spoke about the factors that contribute to Scotland’s poor health record- now being recognised as more complex than the oft mentioned issues of poverty and poor diet. She explained that there has been a lot of research into the factors that are present in communities around the world that have long life expectancy- and perhaps more important, healthy long lives. Examples of communities that have been studied are in parts of Japan, Costa Rica, Sardinia, Greece and Loma Linda in California.
These communities with healthier, happier and more productive older citizens have become known as Blue Zones. Pilot projects are being carried out in the US to see if the same can be achieved in communities there. Pilot sites are Minnesota, Iowa and Beach Cities, Los Angeles. Very specific methodologies are used and all aspects of life within the community are included- home, work, the town, friends and so on.
Jan’s full report will very soon be available on the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust website and can be found by following this link (not yet live at the time of writing this post):
I am very much looking forward to reading the full report.
Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read and comment on the posts in this series. I hope you have enjoyed reading them and that you have found some inspiration to help you Age Proof your life.