You're in your 80s! What can you do to be as healthy as possible?
Your annual wellness visit is a good time to talk to your doctor or nurse about your personalized prevention plan. This plan helps prevent disease and disability based on your current health and past history.
In addition to talking with your doctor or nurse about your health and safety, you may also need certain vaccines (shots) and medical tests. You do not need every test every year. You may decide to stop doing some tests you used to get every year.
The yearly wellness visit won't cost you anything extra under Medicare. Medicare plans must cover certain preventive care, including a yearly wellness visit, at no cost to you (if your doctor accepts assignment).
Flu shots are safe and do not give you the flu. It may seem like some flu shots don't work, but that might be because the immune system gets weaker when you get older. Getting a flu shot every year is one of the best ways to protect yourself against serious illness. Find more vaccine information online.
Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity if I am mobile
Get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep
Reach and maintain a healthy weight
Get help to quit or don't start smoking
Limit alcohol use to one drink or less
Wear a helmet when riding a bike and wear protective gear for sports
Wear a seatbelt in cars and not text and drive
Not use illegal drugs or misuse prescription drugs
Talk to my doctor at least once a year about:
My weight, height, diet, and physical activity level
My tobacco and alcohol use
Any violence in my life
Depression and any other mental health concerns
Preventing falls with vitamin D and exercise
Who will make health care decisions for me if I am unable to
Ask if I need these tests, medicines, or vaccines this year:
Hepatitis B and hepatitis C
Lung cancer (80 and younger*)
Sexually transmitted infections
* The decision to get any medical test or procedure is a personal one between you and your doctor, at any age. These age ranges are suggested by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations and may not apply to every person.
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