Because it doesn’t appear we are supposed to live forever, it’s reasonable to expect that sooner or later all of us will need some kind of help with mental or physical problems.

But this is what really bothers me. There is no question in my mind that if the population lived a healthier lifestyle we could avoid a lot of the expensive health care needed by the older population. Now, I understand that the definition of “healthier lifestyle” is not clearly defined, but I think we all have a pretty good idea of what we should and should not be doing to our bodies.

However, because we are all subject to the vicissitudes of human nature, what we know we should do and what we often do are two different things. We know we shouldn’t eat all the processed junk, but it’s quick and easy so we eat it anyway.

Okay, so we are all human. But plenty of evidence indicates that even if we do consume a lot of junk, we can compensate by adding supplements to our diet.

Several years ago I discovered a press release that was so important I believed it had the potential to change everything. Here’s how it opened:

Lewin Group Report First Ever to Quantify Preventative Health Benefits Of Multivitamin Supplementation Using Health Insurance Model

WASHINGTON, Oct. 2, 2003 – The results of a new study released today show that the daily use of a multivitamin by older adults could lead to more than $1.6 billion in Medicare savings over the next five years. The study, funded by Wyeth Consumer Healthcare and conducted by The Lewin Group, was presented at “Multivitamins and Public Health: Exploring the Evidence,” a meeting which brought together leading experts from government agencies, top research universities and health advocacy organizations to examine the current science supporting daily multivitamin use and help chart the course for future research."

I thought to myself, “This is great. At last, taking a daily multivitamin is finally sanctioned.” And the idea that billions in health care costs could be avoided with this simple daily action was mind boggling. This could have a tremendous positive impact on the lives of everyone, especially older people.

But what has happened? Health food companies continue to crank out tons of supplements that are taken haphazardly. Vitamins continue to be advertised on TV, but everyone knows it’s “just advertising” and older people often don’t think they can afford to buy vitamins. But what about the medical profession – what has happened there? Do doctors now routinely tell patients to take a multivitamin every day? Your doctor may, but most still do not. Why do you suppose that is? Because many medical schools still fail to provide adequate nutrition training. Go here for evidence.

But you know what? It doesn’t matter. We are all responsible for ourselves. We can’t look to the government, to profit oriented pharmaceutical companies, the community, friends or family to do for us what we should do for ourselves.

(Disclaimer: profit is great, but not at the expense of the health of the population! And I am telling you as an insider in the health profession that the pharmaceutical companies are operating in a “profit first” mode. If you pay attention to the number of recalled drugs and lawsuits claiming life and health damages as a result of drugs that should never have been approved in the first place, then you know what I’m talking about.)

For boomers and those younger, it’s important to understand that the quality of your life in your older years depends on what you do NOW. And make no mistake; you will run head first into your older years before you know it. At that time, you will experience one of two things: If you have prepared well and did your best to live a healthy, anti-aging lifestyle you will be light years ahead of your peers in the health department. If you insisted on living in disregard of what you know is in your own best interests, you can plan on being a nursing home inhabitant sooner than later.

If you are a boomer or younger and you are on medications prescribed by a doctor, understand this: Other than antibiotics, there is nothing in the pharmacy that is going to CURE what’s wrong with you. However, If you have high blood pressure for example, medications will CONTROL SYMPTOMS. The good news is that having high blood pressure is not necessarily a life sentence. It is controllable with diet and exercise – something that many people don’t want to hear about.

We can be our own worst enemy. I recall a diabetic customer who spent a fortune on needles, insulin and testing supplies. I asked him if he ever considered a lifestyle change that would help him control his blood sugar and reduce or eliminate the need for insulin. You would not believe (or maybe you would) how fast he brushed off the suggestion. “Yeah, I don’t have time for that stuff” was his testy reply as he headed for the door.

Look, your “golden years” can be some of the best years of your life, but unless you take control of how you live NOW, chances of enjoying those years can be destroyed by pain, depression, and dependence.

How do you prepare to have fantastic golden years? Educate yourself. There are tons of great books and newsletters to teach you just about everything you need to know to take good care of yourself. One of my favorite publications is Dr. Julian Whitaker’s “Health and Healing” print newsletter. No, it’s not free, but it’s well worth the subscription price. You can go to to subscribe. This is not an affiliate link. I have no interest in his newsletter other than to help you find reliable health information.

Be good to yourself. Be in charge of your life to the extent possible. There is only one of you and you are important not just to yourself but to others who love and need you now and in the future.

Author's Bio: 

Barbara Morris is a pharmacist, author of "Put Old on Hold" and a recognized expert in management of the aging process. She has been cited in Art Linkletter and Mark Victor Hansen's book, "How to Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your life." Barbara publishes a content-rich monthly newsletter -- sign up at