50 Year Plan

Walt Disney is quoted as suggesting making 50 year plans – setting goals not just for the present year or so or decade but also for the much longer term. Even if you don’t expect to live that long the team of family or community or business will continue, hopefully.

I don’t spend a lot of time directly with other people currently but during my career I frequently helped ten or twenty families per day and sometimes forty or more during large group events. Empowering people to help themselves is the job of an educator and a public health educator specializes in helping any community members who are interested either in person or with educational articles or Public Service Announcements. It may seem like I don’t help because it is indirect but my long term goal has been to provide whatever help I can to whoever is interested. We as a group are suffering economically for a variety of reasons and one is the high cost of health care and health insurance.

Even with health insurance there can be copays and tests or specialists that aren’t covered by the insurance. Costs can be even greater for those without insurance but they may be more likely to ask about price before proceeding with a recommended treatment plan. (2) It is a good idea to ask about the reasons and necessity for a test or prescription and if any other options are available. Guidance regarding self-advocacy as a patient is available in a book written by a medical doctor. (3)

Magnesium deficiency is involved in many chronic physical and mental health conditions and it can be an inexpensive solution that helps a variety of symptoms at the same time, which can save trips to the doctor or specialist too. I’ve made a lot of mistakes with my own health simply by not continuing with new habits that I found helpful such as taking magnesium, or by thinking that since I was feeling better that meant I could go back to eating or doing things that are considered normal and often expected in social situations. Holiday settings and celebrations can be difficult for someone with health issues that include food sensitivities however hurting yourself just to be polite isn’t helpful to yourself and illness can cause more trouble than saying no thanks.

Recently the healthcare costs of the U.S. healthcare system were found to be expensive compared to other nations because they truly are more expensive. We are getting charged far more than other nations for prescription medications, lab tests and screenings, and many health care workers have much larger salaries or fees than in other nations. We are getting billed more and those with insurance have to pay copayments on those large bills and people without insurance often have to pay even more for the total because insurance companies often have negotiated for slightly lower fees. We also are not providing healthcare for much of the population. The number of prescriptions, lab screenings and healthcare visits is similar to other nations. We are paying more for the same amount of service and many people are left without care. (1)

Lack of healthcare increases costs to society in other ways – from emergency visits and lost wages for people too sick to work, to increased prison costs for people who might simply need mental health care.

My family has a of Alzheimer’s and my genetic screening showed increased risk for it. Based on the material I’ve read on the topic and seen shared by others we need to start early and prevent it because the symptoms occur late in the process of cell death. For a summary of some potential prevention lifestyle and diet strategies see:

Preventing preeclampsia is also easier earlier than later in a pregnancy and can save mother’s and baby’s lives or long term health.  See: https://effectivecare.info/g-preeclampsia-%26-trp-ch

The fifty year plan – as many healthy children of all species as possible. That isn’t up to me, it isn’t something I can achieve on my own, it is up to all of us. The information I share is for anyone interested in do-it-yourself strategies, health is daily habits, and it is possible to improve health for many people with work.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes. Thanks.

  1. Why are U.S. Health Costs the World’s Highest? Study Affirms ‘It’s the Prices, Stupid’, CommonHealth,  http://www.wbur.org/commonhealth/2018/03/13/us-health-costs-high-jha
  2. 1,495 Americans Describe the Financial Reality of Being Really Sick, (Oct. 17, 2018), The N.Y. Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/17/upshot/health-insurance-severely-ill-financial-toxicity-.html
  3. If Laughter is the Best Medicine, Then Self-Advocacy may be the Second Best and a U.S. Physician has Written a Prescription for Both; a Book Link. April 2, 2105, https://transcendingsquare.com/2015/04/02/if-laughter-is-the-best-medicine-then-self-advocacy-may-be-the-second-best-and-a-u-s-physician-has-written-a-prescription-for-both-a-book-link/