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Recent Prevention and Wellness Post: Turning 65….and now 70!

A few years ago I joined many of you in that nebulous non-biological chronological marker, my 65th birthday. How did that happen? I didn’t make a big deal of it. I wasn’t sad, although, I wasn’t particularly happy about it either (although finally being on Medicare is pretty cool ). It is the middle birthday celebrated by our culture… In there between the other big deal birthdays, 21 and 100.

100 for many of us is an achievable goal, that is, to be 100 years of age and relatively healthy in body and mind. I’ve known all along that this necessitates, along with some luck in the gene pool, a plan to be healthy and a commitment to that plan. I am always trying to improve it. Fortunately, I started down this path a long time ago.

Every day I see more patients that are closer to my age. I always notice the 1949’s. There is considerable variation on who has been pursuing a healthy lifestyle and who hasn’t. But the way I look at it, one’s outlook and commitment to improve their health can change for the better at any time. How about now?

Don’t you remember Mick Jagger singing, in the summer of 1966, “what a drag it is getting old”? Well, ..”things are different today”…and it doesn’t have to be a drag if you’re healthy and not constantly attending to well-established health problems. Not infrequently, I hear from older patients, weary of this burden, making the general statement, ‘don’t get old!’ Damn! That doesn’t make any sense to me! I’d like to get really old; but old and healthy.


Dr. Rob Ritchey is a American Board Certified Podiatric Surgeon RET, and is on-staff at Cape Cod Hospital. Dr. Ritchey specializes in the treatment and care of:

  • Problem, Infected,& Ingrown Toenails
  • General Foot Pain
  • Orthotics
  • Diabetic Foot Care
  • Flat Feet & Foot Fatigue
  • Corns & Calluses
  • Plantar Warts
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Neuromas
  • Foot Ulcerations & Wound Care
  • Athlete’s Foot
  • Hammertoes
  • Tendonitis
  • Heel Spurs
  • Bunions

Five years ago, I began swimming for exercise. Three times a week, reducing, but not eliminating the weight bearing exercises. I am finding that with each added year my connective tissues are less tolerant to physical stress and slower to repair. So, don’t stop; modify….modify….modify! Every week when possible, I hit pitched baseballs, about 150, left and right…thanks Ryan Kinski -Dugout Dogs-….no problem there, yet. Thanks to Pugga Routhier -Personal Balance- for two decades of most excellent guidance.

Here is a gift. After 45 years without it, I am painting again……never thought that would happen..anyone want their portrait done? Hope that will help keep the mind sharp. This is getting even better…I started writing a novel in June of ’16. No idea where that came from, but it is THE most interesting thing I’ve ever encountered. Story..nothing about me… finished 22 months later..editing ever since..next step? Soon off to Kindle/ Amazon.   Painting is anesthesia…but this writing is hard, full time work…love it!…no idea where it came from…brain writes itself, once it’s fed information..I seem like just an observer! What’s it about? Still can’t discuss that briefly, but the story was driven by my discussions with military combat vets, my patients both when I was practicing while on active duty and as a civilian. Not so much about combat experiences, but their difficult lives after returning from war. Stories are revealed through the lives of the main characters, two women, a generation apart, who are research oriented clinical psychologists, specializing in combat related PTSD. It is a beautiful tale: stories of love, loss and recovery.

I hope that there is something that anyone can do to improve their health and well-being independent of their age. However, the earlier one starts the better. Please look ahead. How can you not do this. Be well!

Be well!

About Dr. Rob Ritchey:

Rob Ritchey, DPM of Hyannis, Massachusetts, I am a graduate of the California College of Podiatric Medicine. My post graduate training in foot surgery was in the United States Army at Fort Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital, at Fort Leonard Wood Missouri and at the Winn Army Community Hospital at Fort Stewart Georgia. I attained my American Board of Podiatric Surgery Certification in 1994. I moved to the Cape in 1992 and have been on staff at Cape Cod Hospital since that time. Scheduling is almost immediate. I submit to Medicare, HMOs and other insurances.

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