Around the Island

Richard’s Almanac: Finding balance in 2018


I was going to write about New Year’s Resolutions as I prepared to meet 2018 head on, but then I thought that maybe I should be satisfied with the status quo. After all, 2017 was not all that bad.

And when one is a septuagenarian, each day becomes a bonus. 

I was talking to Laurie Fanelli the other day and she asked me to remind my readers about the upcoming “Stepping On” workshop at the Senior Center beginning on Wednesday, January 10 from 10 a.m. to noon and continuing each Wednesday through February 21.

The class is run by Karolyn Jenkins, an ELIH physical therapist who describes the program as a “fun interactive group setting for a workshop designed to decrease fall risk and maximize safety.”

Topics include vision, medication, footwear basics, fall prevention, home hazards and safety in public places. Strength and balance exercises are also included.

Class size is limited. To register, call (631) 765-9389.

Meanwhile, Laurie gave me information about two very popular beverages and their impacts on health.

One beverage is coffee, the other is alcohol in any of its popular forms like beer, wine or whiskey.

The piece given to me was called “10 Health Benefits of Coffee,” written by Brady Hartman which appeared in Healthy Living magazine.

Because coffee is loaded with antioxidants it is supposedly healthy for us. There are heart health benefits. Coffee as been shown to reduce diabetes and have brain health benefits.

It is known that coffee burns fat and has many liver health benefits. Some researchers say that coffee may prevent cancer, and it is known that coffee fights depression.

I do not know where the statistics originate, but it seems to be agreed that coffee drinkers live longer.

However, we must still be aware of some of the side effects of coffee. For some people coffee can cause heartburn and sleep problems. It can also bring on hypertension and can be addictive. Severe headaches are likely to occur in those who abruptly stop drinking coffee.

And what about alcohol? The biggest problem for seniors and alcoholic beverages is the synergistic reaction that occurs when alcohol is mixed with medications.

And this can happen accidentally. One must read the labels very carefully. If it says “don’t drink alcohol” that’s exactly what it means. One martini can seem like five if taken after some medications. Be careful.

We’ve all heard about the health benefits of red wine  and a shot of whiskey. That’s what it means — a shot, a glass. That’s it.

I remember an uncle who discovered he had diabetes. The doctor told him that if he was going to drink, drink scotch (less sugar). He took that to mean “the doc said I should drink scotch.”

We must remember “moderation.”

And it’s moderation that will get us through 2018 and into 2019!