This may make some people defensive, but it needs to be said. You, me, WE, have a responsibility to at least try to be healthy. If we will not do it for the quality of our own lives, then we need to consider its effects on our children and/or society as a whole.
In the United States, and some other Western Societies, the lack of personal responsibility in health is causing everyone’s medical cost to skyrocket. If you’re neglecting your health, you’re contributing to the problem. Period. Health insurance is not supposed to replace personal responsibility or preventative care. Some people obviously can’t help a specific disease, but if your habits created the condition they can reverse or alleviate it, so make the choice to be proactive about your health!!! Ignorance is no longer an excuse. We know what is healthy and what is not, for the most part. Yes, there are hard to avoid toxins in our food and environment, but that’s another topic, and we can work on that as well (individually and as a society).
My family encouraged my grandmother to strength train after a couple of falls which required assistance in her getting back up; once stranded upside down in a laundry basket. We all, including her, had a good laugh over that. But sadly, she eventually needed costly round the clock care, and it caused a huge rift between her children, and eventually completely fractured our once fun family. Who wants to spend their retirement funds on their parents or give up all their free time because they need to be a caregiver for a debilitated parent who is adamant to stay in their own home? And let’s not even get into the guilt associated with it all, which can turn into anger and resentment directed in all directions.
She sadly spent her last few years in a retirement home, bed ridden, and too weak to even use the TV remote. She “still had her wits about her”, as they say, and lived until she was 101years old. She had a brilliant mind and had been an avid reader, but that mind became bored and foggy. She couldn’t read due to cataracts and was too weak to even hold a book. She was completely dependent on other people to help her do everything, to include wiping her butt. We loved her dearly, but we dreaded visiting her. It was depressing (especially for my kids), as we sat in that small, warm, dim room, trying to engage in intermittent conversations with her, between episodes of her nodding off. It was painful seeing her in that state, but probably equally painful imagining ourselves in that condition. Nobody wants to end up there at the end of their life.
Now, given this situation, and how it ultimately affected my mom’s life, causing her to miss work to the point she just gave up and retired from her once thriving Real Estate career, and ultimately severing a relationship with a brother she had once been very close to, you would think she would have been more proactive about her own health. But NOPE. For years, I begged her to eat right and I begged her exercise. I would give her health club memberships, workout equipment, a FItBit, nutritional supplements, etc., but couldn’t force her to do any of it.
Every time I engaged her in a conversation about it, she would come up with an excuse or change the subject altogether. She was really good at that. She was and in victim mode, and when someone is in victim mode, they don’t take responsibility they cast blame. It was so incredibly frustrating to have someone you love not take responsibility for something as basic as their own health.
As she grew increasingly more negative, I felt helpless as I witnessed her joy for life and her health suffer. She broke her leg from a simple fall, that could have been prevented had her health been better. Her rehab was difficult because she was so weak. She went into a depression and more serious health issues developed, that I feel were the ultimate outcome of poor mental/emotional state and lack of attention to nutrition and exercise (Mindset, Nutrition and Exercise; in that order). She is now in a memory care facility, against her wishes. This is as burden left for primarily for my brother, now her legal guardian, and me. We take on the responsibility of her care, selling her house, and living with the guilt that she lays on us heavily. And living so far away, I feel guilty I can’t visit her or help more.
There are unforeseen circumstances that may render us dependent at times in our lives, this is true. But when we become dependent on others from neglect of our own personal health….well, it’s inconsiderate. Many “health issues” can be prevented our cured with a change in lifestyle. Making a different choice every day to create healthier habits. Type II Diabetes can lead to a myriad of other diseases, to include Alzheimers. They are referring to Alzheimers as Type 3 Diabetes. So, you may lose your foot, your eye sight and your mind because of choices and habits you’re making NOW!
If that doesn’t concern you, then have the courage to improve your own health in order to potentially reduce the burden on your children and/or society. You will also find great reward in the quality of your life by doing so.