Aging Their Way
When we heard that the theme of Older Americans Month this year is “Age Your Way,” we were all in. While growing older is not an option, it is possible to choose how you age. Here’s how some SCAN members in California are aging their way–with a little help from their SCAN benefits!
At 85, Jan D. is working to overcome some health issues. He’s using his SCAN gym benefit to work out three to four times a week and has changed to a healthier diet. After just a few weeks, he’s already pounds lighter and feeling better.
Manuel C. expresses his love of art and life through his brightly colored paintings of abstract geometric patterns and shapes. A SCAN member since 2015, Manuel works closely with his primary care doctor to manage his diabetes through exercise, diet and medication. He also makes use of extra benefits, like vision care, getting his eye exam and glasses when he needs them. Taking care of his health allows him to do what he loves: “I feel very vibrant today and I think it shows in my art.”
In his 79 years of life, Cesar E. has worn a myriad of hats, from school janitor to diesel mechanic to conga drummer in a street band to a black belt in karate. Cesar is now retired, but he continues to stay active and in good shape by hiking in nearby mountains, dancing and playing music, and doing handyman work. He also makes good use of his SCAN benefits—seeing his doctor for regular check-ups, taking his prescription medications and working out at the gym several times a week. When he needed emergency surgery to remove an inflamed gallbladder last year, he says he received first-class attention and care at the hospital, which he credits to showing his SCAN ID card. “I really, really love being a SCAN member,” he says. “I have good doctors, a good hospital and good attention. I recommend SCAN to everyone.”
With help from their SCAN benefits and a vision of how they want to grow older, Jan, Manuel and Cesar are choosing to continue to live in good health, happiness and hope.
Jan is optimistic about being able to continue doing what he enjoys: living with his wife in their home of 20 years, attending church, driving the deep-maroon 1938 Packard he spent 10 years meticulously restoring and being around for his son and grandkids.
For Manuel, the Latin American literature professor turned modernist painter, life has been good, he says, and he looks forward to “continuing to express that in my art and how I live each day.”
As for Cesar, he says: “From 1 to 10, my life is an eight in happiness.” He’s looking forward to enrolling at the local city college to take classes in computers, piano and singing, and to someday meeting a companion who shares his zeal for life. “People say, ‘But Cesar, you’re 79 years old!’ To them I say: ‘Yes, but there so much I want to do!’”