Robert Drapkin, M.D., Cautions People to Invest in Health Now, Avoid “Senior Bankruptcy”

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Many Americans will reach the age of 65 unprepared for the staggering costs of disease or illness. But it’s never too late to improve one's health.

Dr. Robert Drapkin addresses the high costs of healthcare for seniors.

Everyone knows that diet and exercise are important, but if more people really understood just how vital good health is when you’re over 65, we’d be seeing a health revolution in this country.

Bad habits and unhealthy lifestyles not only take a toll on the body, but can drain the savings and other resources of the elderly. People in America today can expect to live longer than ever before. Government statistics suggest that once you make it to age 65, you can live another 19.3 years on average. For many, then, senior living includes carefully managing chronic conditions to stay healthy. (1)

Robert Drapkin, M.D., a highly respected board-certified physician in Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology and Palliative Care, says, “Everyone knows that diet and exercise are important, but if more people really understood just how vital good health is when you’re over 65, we’d be seeing a health revolution in this country.”

Declining senior health occurs when those who are on fixed incomes or living off their savings find that hospital fees, medications and out-of-pocket expenses wipe them out. Payments from Social Security and Supplemental Security Income have played a critical role in enhancing economic security and reducing poverty among people aged 65 and older, but 20% of the elderly who rate their health as “fair” or “poor” are currently living in poverty. (1)

In some cases, illness is not always preventable nor expected—for example, cancer, Alzheimer’s, dementia, etc.—but heart disease due to obesity, diabetes, and chronic obesity are preventable, and taking steps to prevent these conditions can make it possible to live a high-quality life during one’s retirement years.

The good news is that something can be done about this, even for those already in their senior years. Dr. Drapkin has proven time and time again over several decades that the idea that “elderly people are not able to lead healthy lives because it’s too late” is a myth. At any age, healthy eating habits and exercising correctly can dramatically decrease the chances of chronic disease and illness in a person.

Inactive men and women over the age of 30 slowly lose muscle tissue every year. At about age 50, the rate of such muscle loss (along with associated strength and endurance) increases. And after age 65, it accelerates even more, with the body eventually becoming frail.

Age will take its toll, but a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle will greatly accelerate the decline. Resistance exercises, using appropriate weights for one’s level of fitness, slows muscular decline; and with proper nutrition, muscles loss can be slowed or stopped, and muscles can even be rebuilt to some degree. It’s the safest natural prescription there is for anti-aging. (2)

Dr. Drapkin, who at 70 years old won the 2014 Southeastern Bodybuilding Competition for his age group, says that evidence strongly suggests we are born to exercise, and the evolution of our physical structure has made exercise a necessary link to good health, mental clarity and longevity. He states, “All modern-day humans have a body uniquely adapted over thousands of years for endurance exercise. What your body is unable to do is adapt to a sedentary lifestyle.”

Dr. Drapkin also notes that exercise can improve brain function, and while there is no known protocol for the prevention of Alzheimer’s, evidence suggests that Alzheimer’s may have a metabolic base. MRI scans of adults 55 years of age and older showed declines in tissue densities as a function of age in the frontal, parietal and temporal cortices. Losses in these areas were substantially reduced as a function of cardiovascular fitness.

For older Americans looking to better their health, he suggests the following:

●    Exercise and diet: 30 minutes of vigorous cardiovascular exercise three times a week, along with resistance training for each muscle group once a week.

●    For vigorous exercisers, take supplements of proven scientific value which are designed to help the body recover.

●    Measure progress with your weight, waist size, appearance in photographs and maximum heart rate. If it can be measured, it can be controlled.

Dr. Drapkin states emphatically, “Above all, realize that you can take charge of your life, regardless of your age, and spending time and resources on a good, balanced diet and a well-rounded exercise program can save you money, increase your longevity and make you happier in your senior years.”

About Robert Drapkin, M.D., F.A.C.P.:

Robert Drapkin, M.D., is a healthcare provider who is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology and Palliative Care. He is in active practice, working to save lives and improve quality of life through the education of his patients. He provides up-to-date knowledge and guides his patients through their illnesses, exercises and diets. He has been actively practicing medicine for over 36 years. Dr. Drapkin is currently 71 years old, and started training as a bodybuilder when he was in his fifties. He has been a competitive bodybuilder for 18 years and has won many titles and contests.

1.    National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2014: With Special Feature on Adults Aged 55–64. Hyattsville, MD. 2015.‌data/‌hus/‌hus14.pdf#016.

2.    “Weight Training Builds Senior Muscle.” Weight Training Builds Senior Muscle. Senior Exercise Central, n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.‌weight-training.html#.Vmj_A4SJlSt.

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