If you’ve allowed regular check-ups, screenings and other preventive measures to lapse over the past year, now’s the time to get back on track. This is especially important if you are an older adult or a person with chronic medical conditions. Here are some suggestions:
Find out about new safety measures for in-person check-ups. Many healthcare professionals havenew office policies in place, including a mask requirement and sanitation and hygiene measures.
See if you can have a routine screening via telehealth. For example, you may be able to schedule a virtual consult with your provider for colorectal cancer screening prior to colonoscopy or your provider may elect to use a stool test that can be done at home.
Ask about getting a missed flu shot. The CDC recommends a flu vaccination every year (even into January) for everyone over 6 months of age. It’s particularly vital for young children, pregnant women, and those 65 and older or who have asthma, diabetes, lung or heart disease—who are also more susceptible for COVID-19 infection.
Follow good hygiene among household members. Especially if anyone has a cold or flu: keep a distance or isolate from others, cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue and then discard it, wash hands frequently, and sanitize frequently-touched surfaces.
Get up and move! Being sedentary may increase your risk for developing chronic conditions, and lead to loss of muscle strength and even depression. Try to stand and move for 5 minutes every half hour—pace while you talk on the phone, for example.
Remember other preventive measures! Brush and floss daily, eat nutrient-rich foods, limit alcohol and get proper sleep.