It's hard for us at Home Care Assistance to not be amazed by Dr. Engleman's graceful aging, which he attributes in part to his work, music and successful family life. We want to thank Dr. Engleman for sitting down with us to share his secrets to healthy longevity and living a happy life - we now have the honor to share his wisdom with you.
Q: What do you think is the secret to aging well? Do you think continuing to work past the traditional retirement age has contributed to your healthy longevity? A: I think that continuing to work past the traditional retirement age does indeed contribute-I think it's contributed to my longevity. Now there are exceptions. But it's obvious that some people can retire from what they're doing and go on to other things that keep their minds active-keep them mentally and physically active-and in that case you're sort of retiring from one thing and going on to something else. But if you don't have that [a new hobby or activity of interest] then I think one is making a terrible mistake.
Q: We've read your 10 commandments for longevity in the SFGate article. They gave us a good laugh. Would you modify these in any way today; have any recent events made you feel differently about these tips? Which do you think is the most important? A: Most of those are facetious. I think I did it simply to indicate that I really don't know, but there are certain things that I do recommend. I would re-emphasize the importance of avoiding falls at all costs. That is terribly important. As we get older we tend to lose balance a little bit and falls can be very serious and cause all kinds of problems. Falls, particularly in the elderly, not only can cause fractures, serious fractures, but as a result, there can be serious effects on the heart and on blood pressure. I think hobbies can be helpful. In my case, music has been very helpful, emotionally.
Q: What initially drew you towards rheumatology? A: When I was a senior resident in medicine in Boston, I heard a man by the name of Walter Bauer, who was doing some pioneer research in arthritis, speak and I was very impressed by what he had to say. He was a professor at Harvard and worked at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He had a very limited number of fellowships available. Believing that I had nothing to lose I applied for one of these fellowships without any real expectation I would get into the program. When I was visiting him at the hospital somebody came and interrupted us and said, "Ward rounds are about to start."Dr. Bauer said, "Would you like to join us on these ward rounds?" and I said "Sure." We visited several patients, one of whom had a heart murmur that was a musical murmur. Heart murmurs generally are just a noise that one hears through the stethoscope but rarely does someone have a musical murmur-a murmur that really rings a note. I'm telling you all this because when they heard this note, they were ordering a test that would demonstrate the number of vibrations of this musical note. I said, as I wasn't very shy, "I don't need that test; I know how many vibrations it is." What they didn't know was that I had perfect pitch, so I knew exactly what note it was and how many vibrations there were. When I told Dr. Bauer this he said that I didn't need an interview and awarded me the fellowship. I say all of this because that's the way I became a rheumatologist - through my musical background and my perfect pitch.
Q: Who is your biggest inspiration and why? A: Well, right now, I would say my wife, Jean. We have been married 72 years in March. Q: Do you have any advice or secrets to share for a happy marriage? A: Pick the right companion. It's been a wonderful marriage and we have wonderful children who have been successful, I have been successful-all of which contributes to a happy marriage. I do feel that a happy marriage and a happy family are important factors that contribute to longevity. We are honored that our inspiration, Dr. Engleman, took the time to share his thoughts on health, happiness and quality of life so that we can now pass them along to you. Reply to this email and share what you believe contributes to graceful aging and a long and happy life; we would love to hear from you!
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