The continuing rise of lifestyle-related diseases and chronic disorders means that we need to take a fresh look at health and healthcare, and to remember that prevention is better than cure. When people feel down they sometimes can’t be bothered about looking after their health. Everyone likes to feel good, though, and once you start to enjoy the beneﬁt of changing just one habit – such as breathing easier after quitting cigarettes – then it becomes easier to change other things. Cancer screening exams are medical tests done when you don’t have any signs of illness. They can help find cancer early, when the chances for successfully treating the disease are greatest.
Changing the time of day you take your medication may help you sleep. Discuss your medication, its side effects, dosage, and time of day taken with your doctor. Do not smoke. Smoking can cause preventable diseases such as lung cancer and other cancers. Stay away from secondhand smoke, since this can also be hazardous to your health.
Neighbourhood houses often run groups that can help you with healthy living including Tai Chi, meditation, Yoga, dance or walking groups. Some also have groups such as weight loss programs, Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous and Gamblers Anonymous. People with asthma should keep their flu shots up to date. Ask your doctor which vaccinations are recommended for your age group and health conditions.
Write down a plan of action to follow if your symptoms become severe and you are unable to take part in day-to-day activities. Include the names of your health care providers, medications you would and would not prefer to be given, facilities where you would and would not prefer to be treated, and other important information, such as medication allergies. Also include necessary insurance information such as provider, group number, and phone number.
If your support person leads a healthy life, then you can learn from their example or even do things together. For example, if they are a keen gardener, you could help them out or even learn how to grow your own vegetables – getting exercise, fresh air, and free, good food too. Did you know that being overweight or obese are, combined, the fifth leading risk for global deaths? At least 2.8 million adults die each year as a result of being overweight or obese.