When women think of middle age, menopause may come to mind. There are other health issues to address at 50. If we ignore them now, it'll cost us later.
JoAnne Jarvis of Omaha doesn't believe in aging well, she intends to fight it. Jarvis said "I have been a very active person my entire life, I used to be a marathon runner, and I intended to get older kicking and screaming, I wasn't going to be old."
An injury forced her to switch to Pilates and cycling instead of running. But staying physically active is only part of the plan.
Doctor Tom Pruse, an Alegent Health OB/GYN, helps JoAnne stay on top of her health. At 50, doctors start considering women's genetic risks to conditions. There are routine screenings, mammograms and skin cancer checks should be done yearly. Colonoscopies are scheduled based on a woman's risk factors. JoAnne needed a DEXA scan to determine her risk for Osteoporosis. She now takes monthly medicine. It's just one of the changes JoAnne is noticing. By scheduling regular visits with Doctor Pruse, she's able to ask questions.
Doctor Pruse said "They're so relieved because they think they're the only ones with this problem and when you tell then no, this is very common, and I can tell you why this is happening they are very relieved. Some of them choose not to do anything about it, but at least they know what's going on."
JoAnne has some aches and pains, and knows her memory isn't what it used to be. She chooses to focus on what she can do, not what she can't.
Jarvis said "The most important thing is to keep on going, and keep on doing the things you can do so that you maintain your strength and your flexibility, your energy level. To be engaged in life, that's what keeps us young."