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Wine Wellness, Health Care Decisions and Reform: Delaware


Wine Wellness

I’ve been getting so confused by the mixed media messages about the health and wellness benefits of wine. For me, the wellness benefits include a remarkable increase in my patience level for my husband’s propensity to discuss “The Lord of the Rings” as if it all really happened.


The health benefits, according to the Mayo Clinic and Web M.D., include:

Wine promotes longevity. There was study done in Finland about this. Apparently 34 percent of wine drinkers have a lower mortality rate than those who drank beer or other spirits. The study did not mention whether or not I actually needed to be Finnish.

Wine reduces risk of a heart attack. I can honestly say this is true because if I go to an evening function and there is no wine, I am more likely to have a heart attack.

Wine lowers the risk of heart disease. This is apparently the case for red wine. Since I am a loyal Chardonnay drinker, I think there may be no hope for me. Red wine contains resveratrol, which protects blood vessels, reduces “bad” cholesterol and prevents blood clots.

Other benefits include reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes, stroke, cataracts, colon cancer and brain decline.

In order to learn more about the wellness benefits outside my own personal observations, I consulted Anthony Vietri, owner of Va La Vineyards in Avondale, Pa., just seconds from Hockessin. 

Vietri explained that staying in the moment and savoring the experience is a key part of wellness. It’s not simply drinking a wine that is rich with antioxidants; it’s the experience of how you drink the wine.

“Wine should be considered to be a food and you should have it as a main course on the table. Wine elevates the meal and vice versa. One thing we’ve done since the day that we opened is that we have always served our wine with local foods.”

This makes much more sense than how I was defining “wine wellness.” By enjoying the wine with the food, the benefits are in both the flavor enhancement and the ability to be more aware of how wine impacts the whole dining experience.

I’ll drink to that.


Generation Rx

Let’s be clear, I am Generation X. You can always count on me to quote “The Breakfast Club” and I don’t mean to brag, but I can name the characters of all eight children from the TV show “Eight is Enough.”

In my line of work as a writer, researcher and overall consumer psychology geek, I become easily fascinated by how the various generations tackle health and wellness issues. I noticed a new trend in supportive resources for people living with chronic illness—the online support community. I will have to wait to discuss this new trend in another blog, because I got sidetracked by the baby boomers.

According to a 2010 study conducted by Thomson Reuters Healthcare, baby boomers want to be engaged when it comes to their health care decisions. Unlike the older generation who wants the doctor to “guide” their decisions and the younger generations who want to be “educated” or “connected to,” baby boomers want health care providers to make them feel involved.

These generational styles can be noted in decisions such as choosing a hospital, a physician or even a support-based resource. Today, with the expansion of online communities, many people with chronic diseases are seeking help over the Web as opposed to going in person to a support group. One generation, however, stands out as loyal to the traditional support group model—the baby boomer.

Why is that?

I met with Sean Hebbel, program director at the Cancer Support Community of Delaware to explore this further. He shared the following observation:

“Patients who are in their 50s and 60s tend to want to be part of the support group discussion and are able to see the benefits of the group dynamic and how it helps them. The ongoing groups we offer keep the participants engaged in a way that is more familiar to them than today’s online resources.”

According to the aforementioned Thomson Reuters study, the boomer generation introduced the concept of “body age” versus real age; for example “I’m not winding down, I’m rewinding.” In the case of chronic illness, it’s possible that support groups help boomers feel as if they are still in control of their health care experience because they are actively sharing and engaged in the process.

The way we access health care resources depends on so many things—cultural values, financial capabilities, health literacy and so on. I think it is interesting that the year we were born plays a role in that process as well.


Health Care Reform Law (Phase Two)

I left you with such a cliffhanger before, didn’t I? Stay tuned! Wait for Phase Two! I set it up so it was like “Who Shot J.R.?” didn’t I? Well, the truth is it doesn’t matter who shot JR since he has now lived long enough to be a part of two separate “Dallas” TV incarnations. But I digress.

As promised, my primer on Phase Two of the health care reform law. Keeping it simple and in consumer-friendly English, here goes:

Big changes are afoot in 2014. It seems a long way away but that’s what we all used to say about 2012 and you know it.

• The Expansion Medicaid will be formally expanded to cover all low-income individuals and families in every state.

• The Extra Credit Depending on your income, if you are laid off or underinsured by your employer, you may get a health insurance tax credit.

• The Exchange An exchange is an actual list of different competing insurance plan options so you can compare and contrast and choose which is best for you. The exchange makes sure insurance companies compete fairly under strict rules and thus, that’s right, I said thus, levels the competitive playing field.

• The Exclusion In 2014 insurers will no longer be able to reject applicants or charge them additional fees if they’re sick. Americans will be required to have coverage; so waiting until one is sick is not an option.

The costs of the new health care reform law and their influences on taxes and the federal budget are the perfect topic for a political blog. Since my thing is health and wellness, I just hope understanding something as complicated as the new health care reform law has brought your blood pressure down and your hopes up.



Friday, Aug. 17

Name Second annual Runway of Hope Fashion Show & Luncheon benefiting Bayhealth Cancer Institute’s Cancer Survivorship Program
Location  Rehoboth Beach Country Club, 221 W. Side Drive, Rehoboth Beach
Time  11 a.m.
More info. 744-7015, foundation@bayhealth.org

Sunday, Aug. 19

Name  Fourth annual Greene Turtle Lewes 5K Walk/Run to benefit the Cancer Support Community  Delaware (formerly The Wellness Community Delaware)
Location  The Villages at Five Points, Lewes
Time  8:15 a.m. (registration begins at 7:15 a.m.)
More info.  645-9150

Wednesday, Aug. 22

Name Happy Hour Yoga Session and Craft Beer Tasting
Location Olympia Room, World Cafe Live at the Queen, Wilmington
Time  6 p.m. ($25, limit of 24 participants)
More info. queentickets.worldcafelive.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=345

Tuesday, Aug. 28

Name  Happy Hour Yoga Session and Wine Tasting
Location Olympia Room, World Cafe Live at the Queen, Wilmington
Time  6 p.m. ($25, limit of 24 participants)
More info. queentickets.worldcafelive.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=345



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