One of the great aspects of my work is that I get to see many wonderful elderly people who have fought many of life’s battles, and are now in pretty tough shape. The wonderful aspect of my job is that I get to help them improve their lot-theirĀ improvement gives me a good feeling. It also stresses the importance of staying strong, both physically and mentally. There are times, however, when I realize that my job offers me a glimpse into the future; all of us are eventually going to walk down that road. I’m doing everything in my power to keep dysfunction and disease at bay; by exercising, proper diet, supplements (food), and by controlling stress as best I can. In other words, I’m concentrating my efforts on what I can control, and am taking action. If and when disease or accidents happen, I will be at peace knowing that I did what I could.

Keep reading. A recent study of more than 45,000 adults linked that practice to higher levels of happiness, while watching lots of TV correlated with lower levels of happiness (no wonder-have you noticed what’s on TV these days?).

Hand washing is especially important these days, since few germs actually fly around-they mostly hitch a ride. The CDC recommends washing with plain old soap and water for 20 seconds, or two stanzas of “Happy Birthday”. Also, wash before and after tending to a cut or wound, having close contact with someone who is ill, before preparing or eating food, and after going to the bathroom, changing a diaper, blowing your nose, coughing, handling garbage, sneezing, or taking care of an animal. I know these sound obvious, but it’s surprising how often hand-washing is neglected.

A couple of things I do every winter to prevent colds or sinus issues is to rinse my nose with a saline spray or nettieĀ pot. I also double up on vitamin D (2000 IU’s/day), and try to get more than seven hours of sleep. At the first sign of possible illness, I add Echinacea to my diet. It works for me.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.