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Researchers to study impact of healthy living choices on seniors


As baby boomers reach retirement, they continue to defy the standards of what is physically possible past the age of 65. Their expectation to live longer and more active lives is leading to a series of research studies at the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine.

Using unparalleled access to retirees at Leon Medical Centers throughout South Florida, FIU researchers will focus on finding new ways to help seniors increase their quality of life, mobility and independence. Their first study is on the physical and psychological impact of regular exercise and wellness on men and women 65 years and older. They’ll look to see if a new daily regimen of workouts, healthy snacks and increased social interaction – available through Leon’s Healthy Living Centers – lowers blood pressure and the need for certain medications.

“Our mission with the Healthy Living Centers is to provide our patients with the necessary tools so they can feel empowered over their health and live a heightened quality of life,” said Benjamin Leon, Jr., founder of Leon Medical Centers. “We are seeing positive signs in our patients who participate in our healthy living programs, so the next step is to validate these findings through research with FIU’s Benjamin Leon Center for Geriatric Research and Education.”

All of this is the undertaking of FIU’s Benjamin Leon Center for Geriatric Research and Education. It was created with a $10 million dollar gift to FIU from Leon Medical Centers’ founder Benjamin Leon, Jr., as part of his continued commitment to improving the lives of seniors.

“There is tremendous evidence that prevention can be accomplished even at an older age,” said Dr. Paulo Chaves, Director of FIU’s Benjamin Leon Center for Geriatric Research and Education, “It is now time to develop and test new ways to prevent functional decline.”

The first of several research studies will begin this summer. FIU researchers will work closely with Leon Medical Centers doctors to ensure patients are the first to benefit from their breakthroughs.

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