Even as overall smoking rates have declined, the rate has hardly budged among those 65 and older, according to America’s Health Rankings. Nearly 9 percent of adults age 65 and older were regular smokers in 2017, meaning more than 4 million older adults could benefit from kicking the habit.

Common misconceptions about smoking and older adults persist, including that after smoking for decades, quitting won’t make much of a difference to someone’s health.

The truth is, quitting smoking later in life can still reduce the risk of diseases like cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, according to Everyday Health. And people who quit in their 60s are likely to live longer than those who continue to smoke. Additionally, the CDC says, stopping smoking can benefit most major parts of your body — including improving blood flow to help wounds heal properly, and even keeping hearing and night vision sharp.


Resources for caregivers

Regardless of the circumstances that lead someone to assume the role of a caregiver, and whether they do so willingly, out of a sense of obligation or a mix of both, one thing is certain: Caregivers need and deserve support as they navigate a demanding, emotional and critical responsibility.

The good news is there are resources and services available to help make life as a caregiver a bit easier:

— The National Family Caregiver Support Program

— AARP’s Caregiver Resource Center

— Administration for Community Living

— UnitedHealthcare’s Solutions for Caregivers program

— The National Alliance for Caregiving

— The Caregiver Action Network

— The Eldercare Locator


A surprising number of people don’t wash their hands

Serious bacteria like staphylococcus (staph), E. coli and others easily spread with hand-to-hand contact. National Handshake Day on June 28 might as well be renamed germ-spreading day.

Washing hands is considered one of the most effective ways to prevent bacteria and viruses from spreading, and prevent illness or infection.

A surprising number of people don’t wash their hands, according to a new survey commissioned by Hibiclens antibacterial soap.

According to the survey of 1,000 American adults:

— 56 percent don’t always wash their hands after covering their mouth when coughing.

— Almost one in six people (18 percent) don’t always wash their hands after going to the bathroom.

— Nearly half, 49 percent of people, don’t always wash their hands after blowing or picking their nose, a place where staph is commonly found in nearly 50 percent of a given population, according to the National Center of Biotechnology Information.


Reasons to feel good about dairy in your diet

When you sip a wholesome smoothie or savor a slice of cheesy pizza, you’re getting a delicious taste of dairy’s rich tradition. Five more reasons to keep dairy in your diet:

— Dairy is a local business. Most milk is made less than a two-hour drive from where it’s sold, so when you buy milk, yogurt, butter or cheese, you’re supporting local businesses.

— It’s natural. Real milk, cheese and butter taste the most natural because they are the most natural.

— Dairy is simple and affordable. While eating healthy seems to get more and more complicated – and expensive – dairy remains simple and affordable.

— It’s good for young and old alike. Dairy is a top food source for calcium, potassium and vitamin D.

— Dairy packs a protein punch. If you took it from your diet, you’d need to eat up to 30 percent more plant proteins to match the quality of the protein in dairy.

— Brandpoint