4 Ways to Get Your Health Back on Track
If you’ve let the day-to-day maintenance of your health slide during the pandemic, it’s time to make it a priority again—especially if you’re over 55.
Over the past two years, you’ve likely taken many steps to protect your health and the health of your loved ones—from taking rapid tests and wearing masks in public to getting multiple doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine. But because so many health-related services have been closed or limited throughout the pandemic you may have let a few preventive health measures fall by the wayside. These four steps can help you get back on track.
1. Catch up on vaccines of the non-COVID variety.
One in five adults over 55 years old aren’t up to date on their vaccinations or are unsure of their vaccination status. If that sounds like you, or if you’ve faced roadblocks to seeing your family doctor, Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaws pharmacists can provide you with useful information and are injection certified. In addition to COVID-19 boosters and influenza vaccines, you may be eligible for these doses:
- Vaccine for shingles: One in three Canadians will develop shingles in their lifetime and two out of three of those cases occur in adults over 50. Between 10 and 18 per cent of people who get shingles will develop postherpetic neuralgia, which causes severe pain in areas where the rash occurred. It’s more common in older adults and can be permanent.
- Vaccine for pneumonia: In most provinces, seniors over 65 are eligible to receive pneumococcal vaccines. Pneumonia is a leading cause of hospitalization and death in older adults and people living with chronic conditions.
To take an online self-assessment to discover which vaccines may be right for you, visit shoppersdrugmartvaccinescreening.canimmunize.ca.
2. Book routine exams and screenings.
As we get older, our risk increases for diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Speak to your family doctor to discover which screenings may be right for you, depending on your age and risk level. They may recommend blood, urine or stool tests, as well as a mammogram, Pap smear and bone density scan for women—especially if you haven’t had a check-up in several years. Your local pharmacist is also a great resource for questions around diabetes management and heart health.
3. Get your eyes checked and, if necessary, update your glasses.
If you’re 40 to 64, the Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends an eye exam every two years. Over 65? Bump that up to once a year. At your appointment, your doctor will check your ocular health to look for signs of glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration, plus less obvious conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and brain tumours. Of course, you’ll also find out if your prescription is up to date or if you need to purchase new lenses.
4. Stay active
Prioritizing physical activity is important at every age. Adults 55 and up should be getting at least 150 minutes per week of aerobic activities. Other activities to prioritize include muscle strengthening, activities that require balance and even standing! There are many ways you can incorporate more movement into your routine. There are several different resources that can help you stay on track, including the PC Health app. Download the app for exercise inspiration, accountability or direction.
Ready to take charge of your health? Get out your calendar, pull up all relevant phone numbers and take the Shoppers Drug Mart vaccine screening quiz from home today.