Episode 5: Healthy and Positive Aging

Episode 5 is about the power of positive aging. Listen to our experts as they give tips on how Boomers can age gracefully and live their lives to the fullest.


Wayne Bucklar:  You’re listening to Booms Day Prepping. My name is Wayne Bucklar and I’m joined by Dr. Drew Dwyer. It’s our regular look at Baby Boomers and what affects them and what’s coming for them in the next stages of their life. We’re joined as always by our panel – Brian, Glenn, Bron and Amanda and we’re with you for the next hour or so to talk about healthy and positive aging, just what it is. No, it’s not that at all. Our topic is healthy and positive aging, what is it? And to start us off as usual, Drew Dwyer, can you define this for us?

Dr. Drew Dwyer:  Good morning everybody and welcome panel and this will be a good conversation. I’ll begin this introduction to healthy, active and positive aging because we’re hearing a lot of this rhetoric and language globally. For those of us who sit inside the aging sphere of business, economics and services, you’ll hear this mantra being pushed constantly and it’s a mantra that is being built specifically by governments and associations to focus a philosophy and a mindset that’s driven towards more than anyone, the Baby Boomer cohort of aging. We’ve discussed their large numbers globally and when we look at the healthcare needs of the population and we look at the current impact that aging or much older cohorts are having, chronic disease management and chronic disease is one of the aspects that tear into the healthcare budgets of many countries. So previously, when we’ve discussed what impacts of aging are and what it does to the human body, we see that it’s quite a burden, on society burden, on individual burden on families and it has quite a negative aspect. And specifically, when we look at aging, we always adapt an ageist lens when we look at the elderly and the elderly themselves adapt and adopt to this ageist lens very quickly. So governments around the world and societies around the aging want to push the mantra that aging should be active, should be positive and should be healthy. And they’re pushing this through as a concept predominantly driven through service providers – so health professionals, carers organization and is predominantly a language that’s being adapted by the business that services aged care or aging people to get into that understanding that our language should be positive around active, around healthy, around lifestyle while people are aging. And we do this in particular to focus people, the elderly cohort of people on changing their diet, getting healthy, understanding and knowledge around diet, getting an healthy and understanding knowledge around physical mobility, activity, and lifestyle, retirement issues and a lot of the subjects we do talk about on this podcast. Now, what I will do is I’ll transfer across that thinking of ways for me into a space that is the alternative or consumer space. I deal as you know with a lot of elderly clients, customers, consumers or patients as I prefer to call a lot of my people. But when we sit and we try and pump this mantra or deliver this mantra as a health literacy or health education, many of my elderly cohort clients don’t want to know about it. They’re quite anti it and I imagine Wayne, you would probably a very anti to this type of rhetoric being force on somebody or yourself because the elderly will clearly say to me, ‘I don’t want to go to the gym. I don’t want to walk around the block. I don’t want to do the things you’re asking. I’m not interested in an active healthier lifestyle. I just want to be left alone. I just want to do my thing and I want that respected.’ Now this causes quite a discourse between the language, the industry, the service providers are pushing and the response and the reaction from people we service where they’re telling us clearly in a lot of cases, ‘I don’t want this. I’m not into this. I’m not interested in it and you need to more listen to what I want about my aging process.’ So my question to the panel today as Boomers yourselves that has given work around the Boomer industry, what’s your thoughts on healthy, active, positive aging and how do you interpret it and how do you think it should be interpreted? And I’ll open the discussion, I’ll go straight after Glenn Capelli.

Glenn Capelli:  Thank you Drew. It’s a lifelong thinking I think, it’s not just as we get to a part in our lifetime, it’s throughout a lifetime that need to shift context at times, that need to address the things you’re talking about diet, physicality lifestyle. I mean it take depression, the last thing you feel like doing often when you’re depressed is to get up and move. And yet the most important thing to do is to get up and move, it shifts the chemistry of the brain. And that doesn’t matter whether you’re a 12 year old, a 16 year old, a 66 year old or an 86 year old, so I think it just becomes more critical and more important. And perhaps also, if people haven’t had the ability throughout their lifetime to shift and change context. I mean yes, I was in NFL football. I played professionally, did two knees in and then couldn’t play again. So I took up marathon running. I mean spot the stupidity in this and then after a period of marathon running, I couldn’t run marathons anymore because of my knee. And so you get to walk and each time, it was a real shift. I saw myself as a footballer, I saw myself as a runner and then I have to see myself that walking is vitally important, and magical and wonderful in life. So the context of life shifts and change and I think throughout a happy healthy life time and people who have the ability to create new understanding to shift frames of context, the people who do really well, I mean if we haven’t had the ability to do that and we become really steadfast in our ways then we do need the Dr. Drew Dwyers and Amandas of this world to be able to help us as we age to make those mental shifts and to be able to make the physical shifts.

Dr. Drew:  Yes, that’s right Glenn. I mean we’ve discussed that we will continue to do so the aspect of emotional intelligence and as we all try to get our heads wrapped around this subject constantly, this is one of the clear issues for me as a gerontologist when working to empower older clients and older people is that they have to understand themselves, know themselves and be comfortable with themselves. But the emotional intelligence factor is this discourse between what’s best for you, or what’s important to you and what’s important for you are two very different things, but yet combined. So when I’m sitting with clients, they’ll tell me, ‘It’s important for me to go to the club twice a week.’ And then I use my ability and skill to impart the knowledge to be able to say ‘Well that means you need nobility so it’s important for you to be able to stay active and mobile and keep your legs moving so that you can attend that thing you want most. What’s important to you is to attend the club and see your friends.’ And once you start to get that language and that connection with what’s important to them and what’s important for them, they start to wake up to, ‘Now, I get it.’ It’s not a forced thing they’re putting on them, it’s an understanding of how do they find that space that connects what this healthy, active and positive aspects of aging are all about. Brian, I’m interested in your comment.

Brian Hinselwood:  Look, I have to say I don’t envy any of you people having to convince anybody of any age that they must be doing things because I think a lot of it comes down to self-discipline. I have fairly ordinary self-discipline, I must confess and the worst thing anybody can do to me, ‘Oh Brian you must walk up and down the hill everyday because it’s good for your cardiovascular system or whatever.’ And so the self-motivation I’m not sure like getting somebody self-motivated to do something it’s probably easy a part of it. Getting them to actually do it is a totally different thing, I mean saying to people, ‘Oh, you need to go to the’ or they’re saying to you, ‘I need to go to the club twice a week.’ They probably don’t see that as any kind of activity other than going and having a relatively cheap meal and a couple of drinks and reaching a few friends. They wouldn’t see it as any sort of exercise. I doubt, I don’t know.

Dr. Drew:  You’re dead right, they don’t. And the aspect of it is, ‘Well, somebody couldn’t drive me and take me there.’

Glenn Capelli:  Dr. Robert Cowden, 40 years of research says the most important influential word in the English language is to understand ‘Because.’ So if you know the ‘because’ and if the ‘because’ agrees with you, ‘I’m going to do this because I love getting to the club.’ I mean Brian if you keep played a role in a movie where you’re a hill walker, you would probably walk the hill because you had a ‘because’, you’re playing a role, you’re getting paid for it, you’re bringing joy to people’s lives. So if people get the ‘because’ and that must be part of the trickiness Drew and Amanda to help people understand their particular ‘because’. So you’re not trying to motivate them, they just see it as something that they will do.

Dr. Drew:  Well this is it and this is where I practice teaching other professionals. It’s not about telling them, it’s about that ‘because.’ We don’t use the language Glenn ‘because’ so I’m adapting that and I’ll start using it and thank you very much you will be quoted at some point. However, we do use the SMART goal setting and this is a hard concept to teach people who service older cohorts of clients particularly Boomers. Boomers are very resilient and resistive and quite stubborn in their ways early and if you talk to someone like Wayne who we’ve learned through our process of podcasting with him, very set in his ideas and I could imagine and I’m looking forward to the opportunity probably guiding Wayne through a few things as we come down line. But it’s about well what’s important to you, what’s important for you that ‘because’ is the ‘for’ process. The value that the person gives it is the focus for me and it’s very person-centered, you tell me what you want and I will advise you on the best way that we can support you to achieve that goal. And it is a very hard effort because the aging people, Boomers too as well, they build a very ageist lens. Once we enter retirement phase, once we started to develop our knowledge around retirement and aging, we start to get consumer-based methods and language sent to us that we’re a burden, we’re a drag on society, the system doesn’t want us included in doing certain things. And at the other end of the scale was saying healthy, active, positive aging and really I think a lot of elderly and older people just really they go ‘Look, shut up. Leave me alone. I’m not interested in your bullshit. I just want to do what I want to do.’

Wayne:  Drew, I drew on my mother here who’s a whole generation older than I am. She has immense respect for medical professions, she always does what the doctor says, she’s been a nurse all her life and she’s expected that patients will obey her and that she is now obeying the nurses. But my generation, the Boomers from the 1960s onwards, we’ve had some excellent examples in the medical profession of how not to do it ethically or very well. We’ve become cynical about the commercialization of medicine and we’ve pretty much said to the world, ‘Do not tell us what to do. If you want us to move, you’d better sell it, and there better be some benefits and it better be convenient because if it’s not, we’re not buying’. And so I think my generation are stubborn. I think they have high expectations. I think we will deal with failing health in old age with much difficulty. But the idea that should I be healthy, active and aging tends to be presented in my mind by politicians and professionals paternally and dismissively of my wishes and it’s not being sold.

Dr. Drew:  Yes. I agree and that was my opening statement Wayne about how the language of the government in the industry is being pushed this way and yet the consumer is not taking part by partisan arrangement. If those of us following me particularly because I am very focused in this zone, I’m involved in a very big new wave concept next year and I’m the leader of it and that is ‘Chronic Disease Management Medical Centers’ which center around this concept and that is bringing our customer into the center and us listening to the aspects of their healthcare, their lifestyle and them directing us about how we can best service them without the services we have to offer. Not us telling them what they’ll take but them directing us, looking at what’s available and learning with us about how we design the concept of service to them. And I’m interested from a female perspective. Bron, what’s your thoughts on this topic, positive aging?

Bron Williams:  Yes. It’s just been interesting sitting and listening and thinking, ‘Okay, what do I think about this?’ And I think what it comes down to for me is how probably I view so much of my life, each season of my life which has probably been each decade. I know my body has changed shape. I don’t know whether those changes are as noticeable for men but certainly as a woman, I have noticed the changes in my body and I have tried to embrace those changes. Sometimes it’s been more willing than others and I found I get to the end of one decade and I’ve just got used to what my body is like there and then a new decade shifts into place and so, and I feel different and I’m certainly in that place now when I’m in my early 60s. However, the thing that I see is important is what you were talking about Drew, is that being able to then listen to what the aging cohort is saying. Like I want as a 61 year old to be able to say, ‘Yes. In the past I’ve gone to the gym, I’ve done a whole lot of activity has always been part of my life. I’ve always tried to incorporate exercise. I do it less now because I’m not as interested in it’. Or you can do it in different way.

Dr. Drew:  Or you can do it in a different way.

Bron:  Or I do it in a different way, but to be able to embrace that is actually okay that my exercise regime does not have to look like it did when I was 50 and that it’s okay that it doesn’t and I think it’s about that listening. First of all, listening to your body because the reality is your body slows as you get older which is part of the deal. My feet have pounded the earth for over six decades. Sometimes, they just really saw because they’re getting old and they’re wearing out.

Dr. Drew:  I agree. Let me say that the health industry is moving very quickly towards how they can offer like for example exercise physiologists, and physiotherapists and occupational therapists are very heavy in this care sector now for retirees and older people but I don’t think they’ve got their knowledge-based correct because they’re driving this physical activity zone and what they know understanding about healthy bodies, muscular bodies and active bodies. But as you say, that older body is going to tell you ‘yes or no’ and we need to be listening to it because I always say to the older cohort that I deal with a lot of my patients, “I’m an ex-military nurse, military guy, as you’re all aware and I have been taught my own sort of mantra that I like and I have a particular saying and that is Prior preparation prevents a piss-poor performance.” And I say this regularly to my Australian customers and they actually do get it. If you can’t look down line at where you are at 60 at 65 and see yourself of where you want to be at 70-75, you better start thinking about this and preparing. No one’s asking you, I never ask a client to go full slog of fixing an issue but I ask them to prepare for what that end space looks like and then find the emotional intelligence to be prepared to live in that space once you get there. Not get to that space and then be angry, cranky, negative and not positive about where you have arrived because of your own methods. Anyone?

Wayne:  Damn Drew, I’m already in that space, what did you say angry, cranky. I’ve been there for a while maybe.

Glenn:  It all comes down to scaffolding and foundation. So I guess it’s the decades prior Wayne how did you found and scaffold yourself.

Wayne:  Too late, too late. I’d like to to head down Amanda’s crack a little moment. One of the things that I observe is that amongst the gym going 20 year olds, much of their behavior that I see is not motivated by fitness, health and aging, it’s motivated by ‘How do I get a good root?’  And so the relationship between exercise and sexual activity, I think maybe there’s an issue there that’s not been dealt with amongst the cohort who are over 120 kilos, I mean over 60.

Brian:  And I think you’ve been cynical there Wayne. I think they all go. Their children up in the gym dear not because they think it makes them look good because it’s just what you do. I mean they never go to the gym but they were to picking up kids at some time.

Glenn:  Well my work with teenagers, I’ll say to them it’s not about what you look like, I’m striving to be healthy but it’s more to do on how you think, and feel and act your way through life. So whether it’s a teenager and the teens have got more tremendous amount of anxiety put on them these days about how they look. We even as we were growing up had that anxiety. But it’s more about how we think, feel and act our way through life at each stage of life I think. And I do welcome the fact that a lot of the people in their 70s and I think of my mum and dad because they were in their 70s and their 80s. My mum enjoyed going and doing stuff and it might not have been running a marathon but it was going to the pool and doing a bit of aqua aerobics and doing aqua aerobics when you talk a million miles an hour at the same time because aerobic exercise was a manner which is a good thing.

Dr. Drew:  Yes. I will dabble with Amanda here if we could have a section together. But in my book ‘Aging in the New Age’ I address both these subjects we’re talking and now we’ve interluded into the sex. But I have very strong messages around sexuality, sexual health in the older person and that is a couple of things its core to the human being and everyone must understand this science. It is about ‘The Heart doesn’t have any Wrinkles’, okay? We grow older but our heart doesn’t. It doesn’t get old and atrophy and the actual fact is that sex, sexual health and sexuality is a very core component of a lot of people and in particular as we age, it tends to become a focus as Wayne says, ‘How do I get a good root?’ I get asked this question by many elderly people, now normal people would be shocked, it doesn’t bother me at all. It’s actually a conversation of raise particularly when I can see – let’s look at a couple – the husband might be drab and drag and whatever and the 65 year old wife start to get her sex back on, she’s dressing for ‘succex’, she’s starting to do the hair again and she’s wearing a few little open tops and the old man sit there in the tracksuit and she’s going ‘Look at him’ and he’s saying, ‘I don’t know who she’s trying to impress.’ And at the end of the day, it’s finding that connection and you’re right Wayne, a lot of older retirees and people have the space and time to look at different healthy, positive, acting agents and sex and sexuality absolutely one of those positive aspects that we can now enhance as we get older because there are many different ways to engage your sexual health as an older person. Amanda?

Amanda Lambros:  I think what’s the thing which seems to be lacking in this conversation is that there’s this dichotomy. We have all this young generation, younger generation and their job is to go to the gym like Wayne you were saying, ‘Go to the gym. Look healthy, get a root.’ And then you move into the next generation and it’s ‘Go to work. Work your butt off, earn your money, pay your mortgage.’ So then you really are not going to the gym as much as possible because you’re paying off your mortgage. And then you go towards this Boomer stage and it’s like, ‘Okay, well now all of a sudden people are telling me to work out and to stay fit and then I still need to get laid.’ But you’ve had a good 20-30 years of working your butt off to pay your mortgage that you’re really not going to the gym and now all of a sudden you got to be healthy again. Sex never dies regardless if you’re trying to get a root at 18 or at 80, you still want to do the same things. So similar to what Glenn was saying, if you have the right mindset for it, that’s the important bit. But I have to agree with you Drew if all of a sudden one partner is dressing up and looking the part and the other ones not and making the comment, ‘I don’t know who she’s dressing up for,’ that’s kind of when you got to take a step back and say, ‘We’ll open up your eyes. Chances are she’s dressing up for you and if you’re not appreciating the fact that she’s dressing up for you, she’s going to dress up for somebody else.’

Dr. Drew:  And one of the things I do address in these issues to part of it positive and active personal lifestyle is focusing on your sexuality and sexual health needs. One of the things I do talk about and stress when counseling of clients is the art of masturbation, and self- exploration and stimulation. And of course, when we’re younger, we’re probably doing this three times, four times a day and experiencing our very sexy fit young selves. When we’re older, we sort of go, ‘Turn the lights off. Do it in the dark, close your eyes, look the other way, let’s not touch each other in my fat areas.’ But I often encourage my clients who are rebuilding their sexual health to do it in a positive way and the first place is self-explore. Reconnect with your sexual self in a positive and active way – touch, feel, engage, look at yourself naked in the mirror, address the issues and identify where your sexual being belongs.

Wayne:  I never knew it was an art. I wonder if I can get a grant.

Glenn:  You might be able to get a Hugh Grant Wayne, who knows? But Amanda, I’m going to ask you. Your a Canadian background and you’re talking about Roots and Rooting. I mean, has Australia or is it the same in the rest of the world or did you discover it when you got to Australia. I mean I remember being first-timers in Canada, you can buy t-shirts with Roots on it. It’s the label of clothing.

Amanda:  It is a label. It’s one of our largest labels of clothing and I have to say that’s how I what discovered the word is. When I first flew over here, I had an ice hockey bag that had Canada Roots across the whole front of it.

Glenn:  And you wondered why you’re so popular.

Amanda:  Pretty much, yes. So when it was coming off the carousel at the airport, everyone started laughing. So I’m pretty socially open and I went up to someone who was laughing the hardest and I said, ‘Can you explain to me why you’re laughing?’ and they said, ‘Well Roots over here is like to get laid and I’m like, ‘Oh, well yeah sure. Canada Roots, whatever.’

Dr. Drew:  You didn’t marry him, did you Amanda?

Amanda:  No, I did not end up marrying him. But yes, it is very much an Australian word that I’ve gotten used to but I have to say all of my friends love it when I go home to Canada and buy all the Roots clothing and bring it back.

Dr. Drew: Now I just want to add in conjunction with this, part of the message I want to discuss and send with our Boomer listeners is this positive active aging has also a lot to do. Yes, get this sexuality issue is all blended, these things are all connected into the human thing. One of the things I want to discuss or ask your opinions of and that is I push the emphasis of competing in the work-life space as a Boomer – picking full-time work, changing work, competing in work with the younger generations in the workforce or setting yourself up for part-time work, changing your career. But I engage all Boomers to do one thing, stay active in the work space for as long as you can because it it enables you to build this positive active approach to yourself. It enables you to build a sexual positive around yourself, identifying yourself within the workforce against other people in competition.

Amanda:  Absolutely. And I think one thing a lot of people have to be very aware of is that in this sexual healthy aging, like you’re saying, you can’t just be physically fit. You can’t just be mentally fit. It really is a wholesome approach that physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual – you have to hit the nail on every aspect to really feel in your 60s, 70s, 80s.

Brian:  I think as far as I’m concerned, the older I get, I seem to get busy than I’ve ever been. I’m doing far more now that I ever did when I was 40 or 50 or whatever. I mean I’m refurbishing furniture and I went for an audition yesterday, fingers crossed everybody. I’m just doing so many things now and I kind of think back and think “I should have started when I was kind of 20 or 30.” I’m listening to Glenn before about climbing mountains and running marathons and whatever, it’s like, ‘Really? I didn’t have time, well I think I didn’t have time.’ I certainly didn’t have time to run a marathon, four hours out of my life is just way too much or whatever it takes.

Glenn:  I ran it in three.

Amanda:  Well done Glenn.

Dr. Drew:  Maybe we could get Wayne to do it.

Glenn:  But … Castello can run it in two, so I figured the people who can run it in four should get more of a reward. Drew, the healthy, active, positive aging or the HAPA and just so you know in Kiswahili in the island of Lamu which is a tiny island off the coast of Kenya there’s a Hapa Hapa Restaurant and the service it took hours. Finally I said to him ‘What does Hapa Hapa stand for?’ and they said, ‘It means slowly, slowly.’ A slowly slowly food but maybe as we age and a little bit of Hapa Hapa the healthy, active, positive aging just means we go a little bit slower with what we do. Still do it but a little bit slower.

Dr. Drew:  For me Glenn it’s a case because I do, I mean I clinically work in this space. It’s a hard thing to get this dichotomy going amongst the different people who are connected in the aging space. But for me, it’s a very strong message for older people, Boomers, their parents is you’re never too old to learn, keep learning as you go to my facebook site there, I have that message very clear. Keep learning as we hear this new language as elderly, elders, particularly Boomers now should start engaging their health professionals and start getting very choosy as Wayne would say, find the ones that you connect to, find the ones that have the advice you’re prepared to listen to. It is an act of listening and sharing, it’s not necessarily that the consumer is always right. We’d like to put the consumer in the middle but in a lot of cases and many of my consumers need a lot of education even particularly around managing their own health care and their own lifestyles. But we must learn and we must be understanding that if you’re starting to hear this podcast and hear this language, start to investigate. Go on the journey through YouTube or reading about what this actually means and how do you connect with active, positive and healthy aging because it will mean different things to different people.

Bron:  I find it interesting Drew that you say find the health professional that you’d connect with.

Dr. Drew:  Let me message and react through minute. Bron once asking, she lives in a town of 300 people, they have one GP in the town and she understands the concept of find a health professional that you like or it can interact with. But if you’ve only got one, what do you do? Well here’s my response for that anyone listening in the same position. Many GPs or doctors like myself who are a nursing doctor will say, ‘Don’t let your doctor Google interfere with my medical degree.’ But however, I don’t agree with that concept. Health professionals should be open to listening to their consumers. Consumers are quite intelligent once they get going and start doing their own research and connecting with information that connects with them. So I offer all Boomers and people listening, don’t be afraid to give over some information and to drive some information down the desk of your health professional. Asked them in a transparent way to be open to what your research and what your healthcare is all about. And start to deliver your health professional some information, some reading or some connections through apps and YouTube so they can be enhanced with their knowledge. I send a very strong message through the College of Doctors or GPs and the College of Nursing, be open to consumer advice because they are the owners of their bodies and their healthcare, they know themselves better than us.

Bron:  While the choice may be limited in the country, it doesn’t take away your responsibility to be intentional about your health and certainly from around the age of 50. I’ve ensured that I have an annual checkup even though I’m healthy, I just want to make sure that I’m staying healthy, that my cholesterol is fine so that you keep on top of your health and don’t just assume that because your body is feeling okay, that everything is okay because those things happening inside you, but you don’t necessarily know about.

Dr. Drew:  That’s right. And everybody has to understand the term around ‘Atrophy and Aging.’ We have multi-system, and multifunctional, multi organ breakdown as we age. Funny you’ve mentioned ‘cholesterol’ Bron, I just had a recent interlude with some clients over cholesterol but they were thinking their cholesterol was fine under what they thought the limit was but not understanding the difference between high cholesterols, low cholesterols and the interaction between the two, the different types of fats that are important to control cholesterol.

Amanda:  But I think Drew, I think things like that are really important even something as simple as a PSA level. So when men really should go and have regular PSA prostate checks done and one of the things to understand is that their levels, their okay levels at 40 are going to be different to their okay levels at 70. So it shouldn’t must be the same number all the way through. You really need not only the health professional that you feel comfortable talking to but one who’s willing to give you evidence-based care and actually have a conversation with you and say, ‘As you’re aging, this is what we’d expect’ or ‘As you’re aging as a woman, your vaginal lubrication is going to decrease and we understand this to occur, there’s a few ways you can get around it, there’s medication, there’s literally lubrication and there’s a whole bunch of different things.’ But you need somebody who would be willing to have that conversation with you and I guess this is also where emotional intelligence will help.

Brian:  Drew do you run into, with what Amanda was just saying particularly – do you run into the problem of, if you were a young person or I’m saying young, I mean if you’re 40, early 50 going to an older doctor, you feel a bit uncomfortable perhaps talking to this older person and conversely, if you’re an older person and you go to the doctor who is like three years out of medical schools, I mean you might feel a bit inhibited talking to somebody who’s 28 to 30.

Dr. Drew:  Yes, sometimes.

Bron:  I think it depends on the trust that you’ve built with your doctor.

Dr. Drew:  Yes, it’s about relationship building. I find today particularly around Boomers, female GPS are much more preferred, believe it or not. The statistics in the science tell us this, they’re much more comfortable with female doctors understandably or funnily enough. But age of the doctor from an older cohort client perspective is important. Experience of the doctor Brian is important. However I need to send a message to our listeners that if we’re trying to avoid an ageist lens, please don’t use it ourselves on the people we deal with everyday, we’re quite contradicting in that area.

Wayne:  I just wonder in which part of the six minute consultation you should raise vagina with your GP.

Dr. Drew:  You should go in with that term straight off the bat, ‘Hello doctor, I want to talk about my vagina.’

Wayne:  Well in six minutes you’re going to have to because having conversations with doctors is not an easy process.

Bron:  It’s not. But again, I think it comes back to being intentional about your health. If you have an issue, you have to get over the fact that you may not want to mention the word ‘Vagina’, or ‘Penis’ or ‘Anus’ or whatever spot of your body.

Wayne:  My point Bron is not that I don’t want to mention the word, it’s that the doctor wants me out of there in six minutes and once the card stamped and the $90 co-payment done.

Bron:  That’s interesting because I’ve not ever had that experience, that’s very cynical.

Wayne:  Seriously? Have you not had that experience?

Bron:  No.

Amanda:  Me neither, our doctor loves talking to us.

Wayne:  I’m obviously in a different medical field.

Dr. Drew:  Wayne, find yourself a more appropriate time billing doctor.

Bron:  Yes, absolutely.

Wayne:  So what is the standard  time for a Medicare consultation?

Dr. Dwyer:  Medicare consultation, were basically restarted around a 15-minute mark. A longer consult or an assessment consult will take 30 and then an extended consult will be 45 and itemized appropriately. Yes, you are right Wayne, some GPS are focused on pushing them through and getting the number – it’s very common. However, it’s changing rapidly. Medicare is adjusting the item numbers I know in Australia and the UK and in America’s system. However, we’ve got to be mindful of the fact that in a modern healthcare zone, it is really up to the consumer to start pushing this. If a consumer walks into a GP and he’s trying to push him out the door in six minutes, consumers now very gutsy and been saying, ‘Hang on a minute, I’m not ready and I’m not finished and I want a full proper consult’ and GPs will start to hear this more, and more, and more from their client base.

Glenn:  I’m still amazed that I can now quote Dr. Drew Dwyer in saying that I need to be a wanker and that he gives me permission. Amanda by Canadians and USA people, I can send an email through and we’ll quote. From a t-shirt in India have ‘something to do, someone to love and something to look forward to’ – and I think that’s the healthy, active, positive and if we can do that throughout every stage of our life and that’s a nifty thing.

Dr. Drew:  Yes. I give you all permission Glenn to become a wanker and I can give you some evidence-based practice. You will not go blind.

Glenn:  My dad walked into the room and he said “If you keep doing that, you’ll go blind.” And I said, ‘Dad, I’m over here.’

Dr. Drew:  Bron?

Bron:  Okay. Well, it’s very interesting because this Christmas, my mother has run me to say that she will not be able to join us for Christmas because of the pain. She’s currently in hospital having her pain managed at nearly 93. So yes, I agree. Christmas is an incredibly important time for families and for older people and I know for my mum to have to say, ‘I can’t make Christmas because I’m in pain’ is a huge thing for her and so we’re doing what we can. I will be spending Christmas with her to make sure that Christmas is still as special as we can make it. So yes, for me, for the first time it’s a fraught time of being without my mum with the rest of my family for Christmas and then being with my mum actually on the day. So yes, moving into a new season myself. We knew this season would come but like all things that you know are coming, sometimes they come unexpectedly and yes, so having to you now look at how do we help mum manage her pain, can she still be at home? What facilities are available? Ongoing, so yes, Christmas in funny, it highlights all those things.

Dr. Drew:  And Brian, if you have any thoughts as a goodbye message to everyone for the year and a bit of a Christmas message for everyone.

Brian:  Yes, look, I mean Christmas generally is a time obviously you spend if you can with family and friends and that’s what I would be doing this Christmas. But I really do feel very sad for people who can’t spend it for a multitude of reasons with family and friends. They don’t have family, they don’t have friends and whatever it might be, maybe they’re in the hospital. I really feel for those people and even for myself, both my daughters live down in Victoria, I’m not able this Christmas to get down to see them. So I won’t be seeing my daughters over Christmas which is really kind of starting to play on me the closer Christmas pets and the more I’m starting to think maybe I could just get 24 hours and 48 hours or whatever, but in fact I can’t. So for everybody who’s listening and obviously to all you guys, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, please remember the people that are not going to have a wonderful Christmas.

Dr. Drew:  Thank you Brian. Is Amanda there?

Amanda:  I am here. And what I would like to say is that as a counselor, my two busiest months of the entire year have always and I think will always be December and January. And the reason that is is that stuff happens at Christmas. You have in-laws visiting or you have daughters and sons visiting, and crowded houses, and stress of a house needing to be clean, and presents purchased and the right presents and just all the extra stresses kind of come to a culmination at this point of time. And what I want to say is at this point in time, take a breath – take a breath for yourself, take a breath for other people, understand that if somebody needs some help, offer it up to them. I think it’s really important.

Dr. Drew:  Thank you. My turn. Christmas, I love Christmas it’s my favorite time of the year and I always send a message very strongly particularly through my social media, ‘It is Christmas. It’s a Christian celebration.’ Many, many, many of our elderly around the world are very grounded in this philosophy or in this position of giving, and sharing and coming together. It’s a strong feeling for our older people and our Boomers in particular, still many of them who are Christian-based in their thinking. The message of the birth of Jesus Christ is the reason for the season. It’s the story of God giving the world its Savior per say, if you believe that. But for me, it’s the method of giving – it’s the sharing, it’s the connection, it’s the family and it’s a time for me as I was saying earlier before the podcast with the panel, I’m very busy at this time of the year and I haven been this year dealing with homelessness, and separation and neglect of the elderly which for me strikes a strong chord. Be mindful. Look around yourself. Watch out for your older relatives, friends and neighbors. Keep an eye on them. Have courage. Step forward. Offer the gift of giving at Christmas and sharing. I wish you all a happy, safe and festive season and remember Jesus is the reason for the season whether you believe it or not, many people connect through this and I wish you all a very happy and joyous Christmas.

Glenn:  Thank you Drew. And I’d say yes, family, friends and as much as I love Bing Crosby and wish dreaming of a White Christmas. I’d like to put in a plug for a multicolored Christmas so for everyone to be able to do in this time of the year.

Brian:  Can I just point out that the first person to announce with in fact anything to do with somebody called ‘Jesus,’ I think it was Pope Julius in about 350 AD. So it’s got actually nothing to do with the events but have a lovely time, have a lovely break and I’ll hope you’ve all get lovely presents.

Wayne:  And we’ll have to come back and visit this at some future time because clearly, there’s a lot of debate to be had about whether Jesus was at Christmas or not. But I do say to our Islamic listeners, and our Hindu listeners, and those listeners of other faiths and religions or have no faith at all, enjoy the season. It is a time when many people of goodwill will come together on a religious basis, many people will come together on a family basis and some like me will just come together in a spontaneous celebration of alcohol. So thank you for being with us and listening to Booms Day Prepping. We’re taking a little break. Some of us will have hangovers, some of us will have religious festivals to attend and some of us will be trying to get to Melbourne to visit their daughters. So we’ll be back in mid-January again with our regular podcast. In the meantime, all our episodes, all our back episodes are available if you’d like to download them and have a listen, you can also contribute on social media. We’re pretty much on all the social media channels. If you have questions or issues you’d like to hear, please send us a question. Post the issue, we’ll bring it up at a future podcast. This is Booms Day Prepping. You can read our transcripts on the Booms Day Prepping website. You can listen to our audio archive on all the usual places – SoundCloud, iTunes and YouTube and you can subscribe to our podcast. Please tell us you like us on Facebook because I’m very emotionally insecure and I need your love and support. This is Wayne Bucklar. Thank you panel for being with us for the year – Brian, and Bron, and Amanda and Glenn – it’s been a pleasure having you with us. And Dr. Drew, thank you for being the co-host. I look forward to seeing you all again in a whole new year in a few weeks time.

Amanda: Bye guys.

Dr. Drew:  Very welcome everybody.

Bron:  Thank you.

Dr. Drew:  Thanks Wayne.

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