Healthy Aging for the New Year
The start of a new year is a great time to make a healthy aging plan, which can include scheduling doctor appointments, getting legal documents in order, preparing emergency kits, etc. Use the information below to create a healthy aging plan that works for you.
Schedule Doctor Appointments
Take a proactive approach to your health by scheduling your doctor appointments at the start of the new year to make sure health is a priority throughout the year. It’s important to see your primary care physician at least once a year for an overall health checkup. Talk with them about any preventive health screenings you should get.
Download the Texercise Health Chart using the Aging Well Resources Order Form and search “Texercise” to help you keep track of your health information. Along with setting primary care appointments, use this time to call any medical specialists you see to schedule appointments for the new year.
Get Legal Documents in Order
Advance care planning allows you to get legal documents in order and make decisions about the care you would like to receive in the event of a medical crisis or at the end of life. This process includes getting advance directives in place, including living wills, durable power of attorney, medical power of attorney and a do not resuscitate order. When setting up your advanced care plans, it’s best to talk with your loved ones to make sure they know what your wishes are — especially if there are specific tasks you would like them to take care of for you.
For more information on advance care planning, download the HHS Texas Talks – Advance Care Planning resources using the Aging Well Resources Order Form and visit the National Institute on Aging website.
Check and Prepare Emergency Kits
Having an emergency kit can help make sure you have everything you need during a disaster event. The new year is a great time to check your emergency kits to make sure everything is in order, including checking food expiration dates, testing batteries, locating all medications and testing flashlights.
Visit the FEMA website for more information about emergency kits and use their Ready Checklist for emergency supplies to start putting your kit together.
Learn About Available Aging Resources
- The Texas Health and Human Services Commission Age Well Live Well (AWLW) campaign highlights the importance of aging well and promotes increased community preparedness by providing awareness and activities for people and communities to be healthy, be connected and be informed. Visit the Age Well Live Well website to learn more and use the Aging Well Resources Order Form to download AWLW resources.
- Area agencies on aging (AAA) assists people aged 60 and older and their caregivers in seeing if they qualify for free services, such as home-delivered meals, homemaker assistance, and evidence-based health and wellness interventions. Call 800-252-9240 to be connected to the nearest AAA.
- Aging and Disability Resource Centers are part of the No Wrong Door system and help streamline access to long-term services and support for the whole family. To learn more about the full range of available long-term supports in Texas, call 855-937-2372.
Written by: Chelsea Couch, HHS Texercise Coordinator