The TGB Geriatrician is Dr. Bill Thomas (bio), a world-renowned geriatrician, author, blogger (ChangingAging) and creator of the Eden Alternative.
Most recently, he has partnered with the Picker Institute, a leading foundation for health care reform that places a person's needs, interests and desires at the center of their care. Dr. Thomas and Picker operate an advocacy program called RealCareNow to promote patient-centered care – of which this series on Time Goes By is a part.
In the past here, we have discussed how our energy and stamina have waned as we've gotten older. In this week's episode of The TGB Geriatrician, Dr. Bill Thomas and I talk about what he calls elders' “energy budget.”
[EDITORIAL NOTE: We are working on creating transcripts for these videos for readers who are hearing impaired and expect to include them soon.]
Children and elders have a number of things in common and when Dr. Thomas mentioned kindergarteners' nap time, that clicked with me. I do take afternoon naps now and then when I feel particularly tired, but I wake feeling drugged and sluggish so I save them for when I have evening plans to not fall asleep in the soup.
I know that I don't have heart problems and what was most useful to me was the idea of budgeting my energy better throughout the day, not rushing through my to-do list as fast as possible. I've been trying this in the ten days since Dr. Thomas and I recorded this video – even on Thanksgiving Day – and it's helping.
On days when weather allows, instead of soon after sunrise, I've been postponing my walk to mid or late morning after I've gotten a few things done. I'm experimenting with any shopping or errands out of the house to later in the afternoon. So far, the new pacing seems to have helped to keep me from collapsing before I want my day to be done.
I think part of the change is psychological; when I know ahead of time that I have somewhere to be at 3PM, I don't allow my energy to flag until I am home again. And, I'm giving myself a reading break for an hour at lunch time before returning to working on a blog post, vacuuming, cleaning the bathrooms or whatever else was on my list for the day.
Dr. Thomas's phrase, energy budget – which I'd never heard before – says it succinctly and has helped me to think about organizing my time in a new way.
[Is there an elder health issue you'd like Dr. Thomas to discuss? Leave your suggestions in the comments below and they may turn up in a future video. Remember, Dr. Thomas cannot advise on specific personal health problem.]
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Steve Kemp: LONG LOST NEWS: President Denies Codpiece