Central Peninsula Hospital | Pulse | Fall 2020

Make the most of Medicare’s free wellness visits If you have been enrolled in Medicare Part B for more than 12 months, you are eligible for one free wellness visit each year. (If you just enrolled, don’t worry—you also receive a free “welcome” visit.) These appoint- ments allow your provider to monitor your well-being and detect and treat new health concerns as early as possible. To prepare for your wellness visit: Bring any relevant medical information with you, such as vaccine records and current prescriptions. Know your family medical history. Your provider will use this information when recommending other tests or health checks. Make a note of anything you might want to discuss. Do you want to plan advance directives or think about making your home safer? Schedule your next annual visit as soon as possible. This will help you protect your health and make the most of your Medicare coverage. Sources: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; HealthinAging.org Are you immunized? DON’T SKIP THIS HEALTHY HABIT Sure, you eat right, exercise regularly and do other things to protect your health. But are you really doing enough to stay well? The an- swer is no, if you aren’t getting the immuniza- tions you need. Even as an adult, you need vaccines to help prevent diseases that are serious enough to land you in a hospital—or worse. Why? For one, immunity from some vac- cines can fade with time. So you may need a booster shot. Or you may need other vaccina- tions because of reasons such as: ● Your age (the immune system weakens with age). ● Your lifestyle. ● Your health—for instance, if you have a weak- ened immune system or a chronic disease. ● Shots you missed when you were a kid. What adults may need Ask your doctor if you’re due for any vaccina- tions, including: ● The zoster vaccine to prevent shingles, a painful disease. ● Yearly shots to prevent the flu. ● Pneumococcal vaccines to prevent lung and bloodstream infections. ● Td/Tdap to prevent tetanus (lockjaw), diph- theria and whooping cough. ● Vaccines to prevent hepatitis A and B infections. ● MMR shots to prevent measles, mumps and rubella. ● A vaccine to help prevent meningitis (in- flammation around the spinal cord and brain). ● Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines that help prevent cervical cancer in women and certain other cancers in both women and men. One more thing: Getting your vaccinations doesn’t just protect you. It can help protect any friends and family—including babies and older adults—around you from getting very sick too. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention To boost brain power as you age: Try something new every day. Switch hands to brush your teeth, follow a different route to the store, or solve word or math puzzles. Tackle unexplored territory. Pick a country whose language or cuisine you admire, and take cooking or language lessons (or both!). Have you always secretly wanted to play a musical instrument? Sign up for lessons. Tie in to social connections. Volunteer in your community, start a book club or travel with a group. PULSE Fall 2020 7