The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Food & Health

December 4, 2013

Elderly can face prolonged delirium post-surgery

(Continued)

There are some resources to help you find out more about rehab/nursing facilities. You already have looked at www.medicare.gov, and searched for Nursing Home Compare. This gives ratings based on the Medicare database. However, since what makes a nursing home isn’t the bricks and mortar, but the people who work there, talking to the staff, as well as current or former patients, can give you more information.

The booklet on Alzheimer’s disease gives a detailed presentation of this common illness. Readers can obtain a copy by writing: Dr. Roach -- No. 903, Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Enclose a check or money order (no cash) for $4.75 U.S./$6 Can. with the recipient’s printed name and address. Please allow four weeks for delivery.

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have two grandchildren who spike fevers and get sick a lot. How valuable are natural wellness formulas to build up their system and get them stronger? Their doctor has told them it will not help, but he isn’t giving them anything to help their immune system get stronger. Any suggestions? — K.L.

ANSWER: The immune system gets stronger as kids age. The key to a healthy immune system remains a good diet, good exercise and sleep, and avoiding too much stress. Good hand hygiene is necessary for reducing exposure to bacteria and viruses. I am skeptical of the ability for supplements to improve the immune system.

That being said, there are vitamins and trace minerals that are essential for the immune system to function at peak level. Most of us can get adequate amounts from a healthy diet. The supplements sold to “boost the immune system” generally are multivitamins with some additional unproven ingredients.

Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible.

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