National Women's Health Week

May 13–19, 2018

Your 80s

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You're in your 80s! What can you do to be as healthy as possible?

80s lady

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.

To live a healthy life:

Every day I will try to:
  • Eat healthy — go to to get started
  • Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity — talk to my doctor about ways to get active if I have health conditions that limit my mobility
  • 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
  • Who will make health care decisions for me if I am unable to
Ask if I need these tests, medicines, or vaccines this year:
  • Blood pressure
  • Chickenpox
  • Flu
  • Hepatitis B and hepatitis C
  • HIV
  • Lung cancer (80 and younger*)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pneumonia  
  • Shingles
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, or whooping cough
  • Tuberculosis

* 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.

These guidelines are based on recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines, the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.