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2009 Health Toolkit: Take Charge of Your Life

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January 5th, 2009

It's the start of a new year. At this time of year, most people make resolutions, particularly about their health. In the January issue of theErickson Tribune, one of our writers listed a toolkit to help you stay on top of your health. It requires no hard work. It does require taking charge of your life. Here is the list to help you get a head start on 2009.Health Secrets : Health information checklist; Make sure yours is up-to-date! Just as you make sure your auto insurance is up-to-date or your pantry stays well-stocked, one of the periodic reviews you should do is determining if you have what s necessary to keep your health care running smoothly. Here s a simple checklist to ensure you re up-to-date: Copies of important health information to keep ' the names and dosages of medicines you re taking, including nonprescription drugs and natural supplements, like calcium. * Your primary care doctor s contact information. * Contact information for any specialists you see regularly. * Your health insurance card/contact information. * Advance directives/wills/power of attorney. Updating your files is a great way to introduce the subject to loved ones. Places to keep your health information * Keep one copy in a box or file folder at home where it s easily accessible. * Information like your prescription list and doctor s contact info should be with you when you travel. * Keep an extra copy with a friend or relative. * Give your primary care doctor the contact information for any specialists you see. * Also consider an electronic option all your health care data is stored electronically, and you can take it with you. Other things to have * At least a week s worth of all your medicines at home. * At least a week s worth of nonperishable foods to meet special dietary needs. * Extra batteries for a hearing aid. Thoughts?

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