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Eldercare Tips and Aging Wisely Advice for the New Year

aging wisely eldercare advice for 2015

Start the new year off right with our aging wisely checklist! Here’s a simple list of things you can do to stay healthy, physically, emotionally, and financially.

1. Talk to your doctor about the preventative care screenings and services you should get in 2015. Schedule your wellness exam and any necessary screenings. Talk to your doctor about your medications and ask for a review to eliminate any unnecessary ones. Medicare B provides 100% coverage for many preventative care services. Check out Medicare’s Preventative Services page for a complete overview.

Screening and preventative care that is covered includes:

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening
  • Alcohol misuse screenings & counseling
  • Bone mass measurements (bone density)
  • Cardiovascular disease screenings
  • Cardiovascular disease (behavioral therapy)
  • Cervical & vaginal cancer screening
  • Colorectal cancer screenings
  • Depression screenings
  • Diabetes screenings
  • Diabetes self-management training
  • Glaucoma tests
  • HIV screening
  • Mammograms (screening)
  • Nutrition therapy services
  • Obesity screenings & counseling
  • One-time “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit
  • Prostate cancer screenings
  • Sexually transmitted infections screening & counseling
  • Shots:
    • Flu shots
    • Hepatitis B shots
    • Pneumococcal shots
  • Tobacco use cessation counseling
  • Yearly “Wellness” visit

2. Did you get your vaccinations? As mentioned above, Medicare covers flu and pneumonia shots. Flu season usually begins in Fall and peaks in January/February. If you have not received the flu shot, talk to your doctor about getting it and you may still avoid the peak risk. Put a reminder on your calendar to check into getting the flu shot this coming fall so you don’t miss it. If you have not had a pneumonia vaccine (recommended for all adults 65+ and some younger adults with certain conditions), check with your doctor.

3. Schedule a review visit with your attorney and financial advisor. Have you had any major life changes? Are all your documents up-to-date? Discuss how often you should have a review.

4. Have a “care check”. If you are currently working with a care manager, plan some time together (along with your family) to review the status of your situation and keep the lines of communication open. Is there anything your care manager would recommend changing in 2015? What concerns can you anticipate and what resources can you bring in to help? If you have not worked with a care manager, consider scheduling a consultation or geriatric care management assessment (if you are simply planning for the future, a consultation may suffice). This “care check” can help identify pitfalls so you can avoid stressful, costly crises.

5. Do a home safety/clutter sweep (or have someone help you–our team specializes in this so contact us if you’d like to know more!). Check out our free EasyLiving Falls Prevention Checklist. Reduce unnecessary clutter, organize and ensure key items are accessible, remove throw rugs and obstacles in your walking path. Check your driveway and sidewalk for uneven pavement and consider getting someone to cut back overgrown trees or bushes. If there’s an area you are having trouble managing, find a tool to help or consider hiring someone to assist.

Contact the Aging Wisely/EasyLiving team at 727-447-5845 for the best start to 2015! Our team can help with a “care check”/wellness visit, assistance around your home, a home safety review and more!

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