Older adults have made countless contributions and sacrifices to ensure a better life for future generations. Since 1963, communities across the country have shown their gratitude by celebrating Older Americans Month each May. The celebration recognizes older Americans for their contributions and demonstrates our nation’s commitment to helping them stay healthy and active.
This year’s theme for Older Americans Month is “Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow.” The theme focuses on injury prevention and safety to encourage older adults to protect themselves and remain active and independent for as long as possible.
One way older adults can stay healthy is by taking full advantage of the benefits that are available to them. Medicare will subsidize most, if not all, of the cost of many preventive services including colorectal and breast cancer screenings mammograms and flu and pneumonia shots. Making full use of these benefits can help to keep Medicare consumers healthy and out of the hospital.
The West Virginia Medical Institute’s Web site, http://www.qiwv.org/Medicare-Consumers/Your-Health.aspx, includes information on Medicare’s available preventive services. Medicare consumers and/or their caregivers can also contact Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to learn more about using their benefits to stay healthy.