The Sathya Sai International Organisation of Australia & PNG’s (SSIO) NSW Region East in collaboration with the Sai Medical Unit conducted a workshop on Healthy Ageing for the community on Saturday, 1 September. The workshop was aimed at providing an understanding of health-related issues that may be progressively experienced for people over 50 years and carers for such people..

The workshop followed the success of similar workshops held elsewhere in Australia by the SSIO, and the Sai Medical Unit. The format was designed to enhance opportunities for good health, so that older people can actively participate in society and enjoy an independent and high quality of life.

This program was carefully designed for those approaching the time when age-related health issues are likely to occur and to assist carers of the elderly to understand their charges needs. A range of topics were aimed at providing advice and understanding of the health and mind-related issues of the elderly and how a medical professional can meet their patient’s need with love and compassion. The breadth of experience and knowledge that was brought by the expert speakers contributed to an educational and enriching experience for all attendees.

Participants attending the workshop

The 4-hour workshop was held at the very congenial Newington Community Centre and saw an audience of over 100 enthusiastic people well-rewarded for their attendance. Quite a few of the participants were not in the ‘Senior’ category, but they also found the experience rewarding.

Addressing audience questions was one feature of the presentations

A geriatrician (consultant for the elderly) mapped out gender differences in disease prevalence etc., plus the need for appropriate exercise, for a number of reasons; not the least of which is assisting in Dementia prevention. Diabetes avoidance was covered by several of the doctors. The tough topic of cancer was nicely addressed by an oncologist, along with a suggested attitude to its diagnosis, in handling that condition. Health of eyes, hearing, and lung function received excellent coverage.

Participants engaging in exercise practices

A recurring theme was the importance of good nutrition. Avoiding ‘discretionary’ food, which is a polite word substitute for ‘junk food’, was key to health in so many ways.
Additional topics covered in some depth included the importance of care of teeth and the gums as one gets older, and the need to maintain bone health, and bodily fitness, so that we are less prone to osteoarthritis and fractures from falls, there was a wealth of information for everybody.

Presentation in progress

Finally, Meditation was a useful and interesting item, where modern brain and neurological research was clearly explained, and Sai Baba’s stressing its value was beautifully matched by a statement of the Dalai Lama. He said: “If every child was taught and practised meditation, the world’s problems would be solved in a generation”.

It was felt that the workshop was a most worthwhile event, appreciated by all who attended.