A Lesson in Longevity: A Profile of the Okinawan People

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Statistics show residents of Okinawa, an Island in Japan, are known as some of the longest-lived people in the world. Average life expectancy in Okinawa is over eighty years, and residents enjoy a low prevalence of age-related diseases. In fact, for every 100,000 people, there are 34 centenarians!

At Home Care Assistance of Denver, we have used the wisdom of the Okinawan people as a foundation for our own approach to care, the Balanced Care Method. Each of our professional and compassionate caregivers are trained in this method, and incorporate lessons borrowed from the Okinawan diet and lifestyle to help promote health, happiness and quality of life for the clients we serve.

Diet

Okinawans enjoy a diet rich in natural foods, low in salt, and high in fruits, vegetables, fiber and antioxidants. Meals are likely to consist of vegetables and a protein source such as fish or meat. Rice is less prevalent in the Okinawan diet than in the traditional Japanese diet, and the Okinawan people also do not overindulge when it comes to their meals as a result of hara hachi bu, a belief in eating until they feel 80% full.

Lifestyle

Cultural studies show that diet is not the only thing that sets the Okinawan people apart. Elderly residents in Okinawa continue with frequent participation in both physical and mental exercise throughout their lives, and continue to enjoy time outdoors. Many maintain gardens where they grow the vegetables they consume.

Okinawans also remain valued members of society as they age, and are given a high level of respect within their community. Many are part of a closely-knit social group called a moai where they are able to maintain strong relationships and social connections with their peers.

What We Can Learn

It’s no secret that a nutritious and balanced diet and regular exercise can help to lower rates of cancer, heart disease, and other age-related conditions. However, the way of life that the Okinawan people have adopted build upon these basic lifestyle factors, while also highlighting the importance of social ties and finding purpose in the elder years.

At Home Care Assistance of Denver, our caregivers are not just individuals who watch over their senior clients, they are genuine friends who provide emotional support and loving companionship, along with care and assistance with daily tasks. To learn more about how our compassionate caregivers implement the Balanced Care Method on a daily basis, visit our website at www.homecareassistancedenver.com or call us directly at 720-443-3371. We offer complimentary, no-obligation consultations and are available to help 24/7.





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