CENTRAL FLORIDA DOCTOR (CFDr): In your opinion, what are some of the top medical concerns for baby boomers in Florida?
DR. JOY JACKSON: “Baby boomers, those persons born between 1946 and 1964, began turning 65 in the year 2011. Currently, an average of 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day. In the not so distant past, infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and diarrhea were leading causes of death in adults. Now, chronic diseases pose the greatest threat. Heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic lower respiratory disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes are the leading causes of disability and death among older Americans. Americans are living longer, but many are living with one or more chronic health conditions.”
“What can baby boomers do to be healthy? Avoid tobacco, eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight, be physically and mentally active, and enjoy strong connections to family, friends, and the community. It is also important to have age- and gender-appropriate health screenings for conditions such as cancer. Screenings for breast cancer, colon cancer, and skin cancer are important. Preventive vaccination against influenza, pneumococcal pneumonia, and shingles are also important. Probably most important is having a relationship with a trusted healthcare provider who will partner with the patient in making health-related decisions.”
About the Physician: Dr. Joy Jackson, an internal medicine physician, serves the community as director of the Florida Department of Health in Polk County (FDOH-Polk) and as a Polk County Medical Association member. For more information about FDOH-Polk, visit www.mypolkhealth.net.