HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

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WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

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artificial nutrition, breathing machines or resuscitation if you stop breathing or your heart stops beating.


Your yearly Medicare Wellness Exam is important because it allows your primary care provider to focus on managing any chronic and acute illnesses you are currently dealing with. The goal is to keep you healthier longer and improve your outcomes. Schedule your Medicare Wellness Exam soon.


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A Medicare Wellness Exam is a preventative screening visit that your provider wants you to have once a year. This visit is free and is separate from your annual physical exam (if your plan covers annual physicals). Traditional Medicare does not pay for a physical – it only covers a Wellness Exam.


What is a Wellness Exam? The visit is covered once every 12 months (11 full months must have passed since your last visit). It is designed to help prevent disease and disability based on your current health and risk factors. Your provider will have you fill out a Health Risk Assessment before the exam. The questionnaire asks about your health status, injury risks, behavioral risks and urgent health needs. Answering the questions can help you and your provider develop a personalized prevention plan so you can stay healthy and get the most out of your visits. The Wellness Exam may also include:



Additional services are often offered during this Wellness visit, some

WHAT IS A MEDICARE WELLNESS EXAM?

of which you may not otherwise receive. These may include a fall risk assessment and a mini hearing screening; advanced care planning; and a chance to discuss services Medicare pays for that you may not be aware of. If you meet certain criteria, you may qualify for a low-dose CT scan to screen for lung cancer or an ultrasound to screen for abdominal aortic aneurysms or hepatitis C. You will also discuss recommended testing, such as mammograms, colonoscopies or osteoporosis screenings and when you last had them. You’ll receive a written schedule listing when those screenings will be due again. If you need vaccines, referrals, lab work or personalized health education, you can talk to your primary care provider about these issues at your Wellness Exam.


The exam is longer than a typical visit because it’s a chance to discuss and update your medical history as well as comprehensively review different aspects of your health. You can also discuss advance directives, which outline your desires for medical decisions and interventions if you become too ill to speak for yourself. These legal documents let your family, friends and health care providers know what kind of health care you want and who you want to make health care decisions for you, should you become incapacitated. You can choose to have a health care proxy or a living will, which describes treatments you want, such as