Some older people may have misconceptions regarding health, which prevent them from experiencing optimum health and enjoyment of life in their later years. Correcting these misconceptions will go a long way towards enabling older members of our community to be healthier, and live more full lives. It has been said that life should be like a candle – burn brightly all the way down, flicker once or twice, and then go out. In other words, we should ideally experience robust health throughout our lives.

The first misconception is that you are lucky if you live to be 80 or more years of age. There has been much publicity lately about how we are living longer, and that subsequent generations will live longer still. No one knows how long the human body was designed to live, but since some people live to be 100, the human body is capable of living for at least that long. And it is not just luck if you do; instead, it’s at least partly due to having lived a healthy lifestyle.

The second misconception is that illness and disease are an inevitable part of getting older. Yet normal ageing is not a disease process. Instead, disease is an aberration of normal ageing. So rather than resigning ourselves to being sick as we get older, we should endeavour to keep our bodies working properly for our entire lifetime.

The final misconception regarding the health of older people is that it is too late to begin making changes in your health when you are older. However, it is never too late to work on improving your health. Of course, it may not be as beneficial at 80 as it would be at 40, but it is still possible to do things to improve your health and add years to your life. And they are simply the things that everyone at any age should be doing regularly. They include having a healthy diet, getting adequate rest, and being physically active. Having any vertebral subluxations corrected by a chiropractor is also vital because  it improves the communication between the spine and the brain, which allows your brain to more accurately perceive what is going on in your body so that it can control it better. Like all of the above, it must be done regularly to ensure optimum health.

Given the right circumstances, your body has tremendous ability to heal itself and restore itself to normal function, regardless of age. No matter what age you are, one thing is certain: you are not getting any younger. Rather than putting off making healthy changes, I would encourage you to take an active role in the responsibility of your health, so that your life can be more like a candle.