Category archive: Health

Godzone – the way we want it?

 Media interests, particularly television, give us, or most of us, exactly what we want; the gossipy, exciting, human interest side of politics that requires no thinking. So much so that we tend to forget that Parliament exists to debate and determine the principles and policies that serve the public interest.

So I was pleased and pleasantly surprised when an editorial in the Otago Daily Times raised questions about policy: “What do we want our public health system to look like? Do we want it to be world class and free? Or a safety net with no-frills care for those unable to afford health insurance?” The answer to this question may not be as predictable as we think.

Continue reading

Spring and Creativity

Outside there’s a colourful riot of flowers cherry and pink blossoms and  the joyful Springtime chorus of  our birds.   Out there drunk and disorderly,  cheeky Tuis dangle from Kowhais sucking the nectar   from the trees’  golden flowers.

I do love this long awaited time of the year especially this year when  dreary winter  lingered too  long.

Continue reading

Life is what happens when…

Things don’t always go according to plan.

No wonder John Lennon, and some wise people before him have said, “Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans.”

And yet when the unexpected happens, it invariably throws us and we react.

Continue reading

Yey! It’s official – we’re a happy lot!!

Good news for  Enzed: we came eighth in World Happiness, one ahead of Australia and Sweden, according to the  Sustainable  Development Solutions Network for the UN.

Happiest  country  of all was Norway,  followed by Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland in a tightly packed bunch. All of the top four countries rank highly on all the main factors found to support happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance. Norway has insulated itself from the boom and bust cycle of many other resource-rich economies.

Continue reading

Understanding dementia

My mother once told me in a hushed voice that one of our neighbours might have TB. My mother-in-law spoke behind her hand about epilepsy (“E-P”).  Then, it was considered poor practise to tell people they had cancer (they gave up hope) and of course we never mentioned people with that “condition”, homosexuality! Things have changed. So what makes it so hard in the twenty-first century to talk about dementia?

Continue reading

Why do boomers do it?

Fairy tales can  come true, it can happen to you, if you’re young at heart, sang the late great Frank Sinatra.  But sometimes being  young  at heart isn’t always the fairy tale  you want, or need.  At a certain age you forget the boomer body you’ve inherited over the years. You  flip back multiple decades to those never-ending summers of youth, when anything  was possible.  It’s then that the less cautious resort to daredevilry, attempt things the boomer body would never allow except that… the teen brain has briefly taken charge. 

Continue reading

Getting back on track

Have you de-railed in your tracks recently? You were going along just fine and then WHAMMO!

Despite all your good intentions, rigorous short and long term planning and solid commitment, you found yourself back in a place you really didn’t want to be. A goal-less, soul-less zone?

Continue reading

Hooked on… jigsaws

I am embarrassed to admit that I am hooked on jigsaws. I have always thought them ridiculous. A picture is cut into small pieces that are then laboriously put together, briefly admired then broken up and returned to the box. (No wonder, after all that effort, that people sometimes frame them). This seems to be the occupation of lonely, bored, unimaginative, and rather odd people.

Continue reading

Alcohol kills nerve cells

Alcohol is a neurotoxin which means it kills nerve cells. Some of these cells are in our brain, and so alcohol kills these too. This is not good news once we already have dementia – we want to preserve as many brain cells as possible. Even without a dementia diagnosis, excessive alcohol has a range of effects on cognition, from mild to severe.

Continue reading