University of Hawaii offers ‘mini-medical school’ to promote healthy aging


When it comes to healthy senior living, Hawaii is one of the top states in the nation in terms of weather and opportunities.

But by the end of the next decade, we’ll have the distinction as the number-one state in terms of senior citizens as a percentage of its overall population. One-third of us will be 65 years or older.

The growing need for accurate and current information inspired the John A. Burns School of Medicine and the University of Hawaii Foundation to sponsor a new Mini-Medical School on Healthy Aging.

“Healthy living is what we’re really talking about is what can you do to ensure that your health and well-being maintains over your many years, and in Hawaii, we live longer so it’s really important here,” said chancellor emeritus Virginia Hinshaw. “Aging is not a disease. It’s a normal process, so we want to help people learn how to take care of themselves as well as what the medical people can do for them.”

The Mini-Medical School course includes 12 hours of interactive classroom learning over six Saturdays.

“We have everything from viruses to falls to prescription drugs. There are all kinds of topics, how to help a loved one at the end of life,” Hinshaw said.

“As simple as not being thirsty and therefore prone to dehydration, drug effects on older people as opposed to younger people, that something could be four times more powerful for a senior as opposed to a young adult,” said participant Patricia Lee. “It will really improve quality of life and debunk some of the myths that people have about aging, about drugs, about taking medication, and what’s necessary in your life to preserve it.”

Participation is free, but space is limited and you’ll need to enroll. Fall courses have already started, but there will be another session next spring.

It begins April 1, 2017, and course and enrollment details will be posted in the beginning of the year.

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