The Other Side of 50

Mini-Medical School provides lessons in aging with vitality

By From page OSF4 | February 13, 2014

FAIRFIELD — The event about aging that will take place next month wins praise from Dr. Eric Hassid of NorthBay Medical Center, who participated in the Mini-Medical School last year.

“It was a great forum,” he said.

Hassid liked the focus on wellness and getting people engaged in their own health.

He noted that his years of practicing medicine have taught him true healing occurs from the patient more than the health care provider. The March forums that will occur on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Kroc Center, 586 E. Wigeon Way in Suisun City, allow the conversation that informs people, the physician said. The Mini-Medical School will take place March 8, 15, 22 and 29.

“They asked a lot of great questions,” Hassid recalled of last year’s forum. “I felt there was a dialogue.”

He said he hoped more of these forums will occur.

Rochelle Sherlock, a consultant with the Senior Coalition of Solano County, said praise from participants about the events included comments that stated the forums were the best things ever done for seniors in the county.

“It was such a success,” she said. “I went and I loved it.”

Hassid said the Internet is a benefit as well as a burden when accessing information about health. Much more material is available to people, but determining the reliability is crucial. For some, the Web is a way to push products.

“People want to sell things,” the doctor said.

Part of the event’s appeal was that speakers respected the elderly as well-read and educated, Sherlock said. People who attended the forums were provided information to make informed choices. That’s not always how the elderly are approached, she said. Sometimes they’re stereotyped and understood only as old, she added.

“I’m not surprised that still exists,” she said of the stereotype. “I’m a little disheartened.”

By contrast, Sherlock said, the Sikh community in Solano County is known for its respect for the elderly.

People of all ages are invited to the forums, but they may be of particular interest to those in their mid-40s and older, Sherlock said. The aging brain, vision, male and female health are among topics local physicians will cover at the next set of workshops.

The forums are modeled after similar events at the University of California, Davis. Sherlock saw a notice for the event and tried to attend but couldn’t because the registration was filled.

“I loved the idea,” she said.

NorthBay Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Health and the Senior Coalition of Solano County are among sponsors of the forums.

Donations are accepted to help covers costs but are optional.

Sherlock cited century-old wisdom by Ignatz Leo Nascher, M.D., in 1914, to emphasize how people react differently to getting older, “Some are aged before they are old. Some are old, but they are not aged.”

Call 864-3984 or email [email protected] for more information.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]

Ryan McCarthy


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