Friday 19 May 2017, 14:30 | By

In the news May 2017: It’s Never Too Late To Be Great

CSL In The News


Mental health issues have been getting some much-needed attention this month. So, we wanted to take the opportunity to look at some recent stories where people had gone on a physical journey which in turn positively affected their mental well-being.

With a great deal of emphasis on technology’s promise to transform health, we thought it important to remember that getting out of the home when we can, can also make a big difference to our health and happiness.

Speaking of happiness, we were incredibly proud to welcome innovators, instigators and business leaders from across the spectrum of Agile Ageing to our recent Neighbourhoods of the Future event in London. We’ll update you soon on what we learnt, but you can see the best tweets from across the two days at the #open4i event handle.

It’s Great When You Skate

Sometimes a story catches both your attention and imagination. People or events that offer a glimpse into the human spirit. One that did this month was that of Italo Romano.

Born in Curitiba, Brazil, Romano admits the chance of a life of crime was quite high before he lost both his legs in an accident aged just 11. Today however, he is a professional skateboarder.

Romano said although he’d been given a second chance at life by surviving the accident, he was very much restricted in his wheelchair. This changed after watching another skater with no lower limb function gain national attention, which led to him take up the sport.

After picking up a skateboard, he found a new lease of life that has taken him to pro-level on the skate circuit. A position he says inspires younger skaters in his neighbourhood. He says; “It feels like skateboarding was meant for me, since the very first day I sat on a skateboard”.

Being active when we can, clearly has the power to positively affect so many aspects of our life. Be it mental or physical. That’s why our next story promotes a physical activity that can be traced as far back as the 6th century BCE.

Call Them the Downward Dogs

Yoga, once again, is being lauded for its ability to improve quality of life, this time for patients with ulcerative colitis. According to this recent article: “Researchers studied 77 ulcerative colitis patients who reported a reduced quality of life due to the disease even though their symptoms were clinically in remission”.

The article continued; “Previous research has linked higher perceived stress levels to more severe ulcerative colitis symptoms, and other studies have also tied yoga to reduced stress in both healthy and sick people.” Although, as the report clarifies, yoga didn’t act as a cure the study’s authors did conclude that; “With yoga, people reported a better quality of life after 12 weeks of classes, and again three months later”.

When people mention yoga, it’s easy to think of soothing music and impossibly honed lyra-clad devotees. But if we look at some of the YouTube yogis going strong well into their 90s, then it can’t be long before yoga becomes an essential part of everyone’s life. Perhaps even becoming a part of the school curriculum. Oh, too late. Namaste.

The Sound of Music

If your requirement for music goes beyond a simple desire to soothe, and toward something that could offer care and support for those in the early and later stages of dementia, then this recent article may be of interest.

It reported on a new guide from Hammond Care Media Music remembers me: Connection and wellbeing in dementia, which has been touted as a “first of its kind, how-to-guide about the transformative role music can play in supporting the wellbeing and quality of life of people with dementia”.

According to the article, the book “traces the impact of individually-tailored music from the early stages of dementia through to providing dignity, reminiscence, enlivening and even restoring speech in advanced stages of dementia”.

The book draws on a research project that involved over 700 residents of care homes looking to demonstrate music’s power to offer daily care and support. Do take a look, but it reminded us of a film we mentioned not too long ago Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory, which if you haven’t seen already we definitely recommend. Before you do however, take a moment to stare in awe at this amazing woman now gaining notoriety on social media (62K+ views and counting) – one of China’s now infamous ‘dancing grannies’ and an advert for an active life if we ever saw one.

That’s it for this month. Until the next, make sure to follow CSL on twitter if you’ve not already and check out the new Agile Ageing website, where you can download for free our brand-new report on what to expect in our Neighbourhoods of the Future.

Image used with permission.