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Protecting Your Health

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Health-related educational materials are available in dozens of languages at the MedlinePlus website.

The following resources can help you learn more about taking care of yourself and your loved ones—but no website is a substitute for the expertise of your doctor. Be sure to ask your doctor if you have any questions about managing your health.

Planning for a Discharge from a Healthcare Facility

To avoid unneccessary return visits to a hospital or nursing home, it’s important for patients and families to play an active role. Make sure that these four important steps are completed before being discharged.

If you are concerned that you or a family member is being discharged too soon, please review this information outlining Medicare's appeal process.

Free Preventive Care

If you have Medicare Part B—and you go to a participating provider—you can now receive an annual wellness visit as well as recommended preventive services without paying a deductible or co-insurance. Learn more about this Medicare benefit.

Keeping Up-to-Date with Immunizations

Protect yourself against serious, preventable diseases by getting immunized. Learn which immunizations are recommended for seniors and follow these suggestions for keeping your immunization records up to date.

Go to the CDC site to learn more about seasonal flu and the flu vaccination.

Managing Your Medications

It's crucial to your health to understand when, why, and how to take your medications. It's also important to set up a system to manage those medications and keep a written list that can be accessed by caregivers and family members. Learn more by viewing these publications:

Medication Safety
National Institute on Aging
Safe Use of Medicines

NIH SeniorHealth
Taking Medicines Safely

Health in Aging
Medications Older Adults Should Avoid


Downloadable Medication Lists

My Personal Medication Record

My Medicine List

National Transitions of Care Coalition
My Medication List
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Using Antibiotics Safely

Overuse of antibiotics can be harmful—to yourself, your family, and the larger community.

Read this fact sheet from the World Health Organization to learn why antibiotic resistance is such a serious problem. Print these flyers to share information with others regarding the causes of antibiotic resistance and how it spreads.

The World Health Organization recommends that everyone takes these steps to help reduce antibiotic resistance:

  • Only use antibiotics when prescribed by a certified health professional
  • Always take the full prescription, even if you feel better
  • Never use left over antibiotics
  • Never share antibiotics with others
  • Prevent infections by regularly washing your hands, avoiding contact with sick people and keeping your vaccinations up to date

WHO AMR graphic

Download a printer-friendly version of this graphic.


Common infections, whether caused by bacteria or viruses, are often painful and can get in the way of our well-being and everyday lives. Many infections do not require prescriptions; learn when antibiotics are (and are not) recommended and follow these tips from the CDC to reduce cold or pain symptoms so you can feel better soon.

Taking Aspirin for Heart Disease

Taking Aspirin to Prevent Heart Attacks
Partnership for Health
A one-page brochure describing the benefits of aspirin for men

Taking Aspirin to Prevent Strokes
Partnership for Health
A one-page brochure describing the benefits of aspirin for women

Heart Disease: Aspirin
American College of Cardiology
Answers many questions about aspirin therapy, including recommended use, side effects, and other considerations.

Aspirin and Heart Disease
American Heart Association
Recommendations, risks, and FAQs about aspirin therapy

Know the Facts About Heart Disease
Centers for Disease Control
One-page fact sheet providing information about heart disease symptoms and preventive actions.

Controlling Your Blood Pressure

Controlling your blood pressure is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your heart. Learn how to do it by reviewing these tips:

What Can I Do To Improve My Blood Pressure?
American Heart Association
This one-page diagram lists five behavior modifications along with the associated change in blood pressure.

Know the Facts about High Blood Pressure
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
This two-page  handout describes the risk factors, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of high blood pressure.

Your Guide to Lowering Blood Pressure

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
This 20-page booklet includes information on diet, weight loss, and blood pressure medications.

How to Check Your Blood Pressure
Washington State Department of Health
Available in English and Spanish, this publication describes the steps for someone to take their own blood pressure and includes a card to track blood pressure readings.

Controlling Cholesterol

Learn about the risk factors and symptoms of high cholesterol, as well as how to prevent and treat it:

5-question online quiz from the American Heart Association

2-page fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control

6-page brochure from the National Institutes of Health

18-page brochure from the National Institutes of Health, tailored to specific audiences: for Latinos (available in English and Spanish), and for Filipinos (available in English and Tagalog)

Cholesterol: Questions to Ask Your Doctor
American Heart Association
Print this list of common questions regarding cholesterol measurement, medications, and lifestyle changes, then take it to your next doctor's visit.

Quitting Tobacco

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the United States. Get support to quit from these resources:

Idaho Quitnet
Helps tobacco users quit by offering a variety of resources, such as support forums, chat rooms, expert advice, a directory of local programs, and information about prescription and nonprescription products you can use to help you quit. Anyone who is a resident of Idaho is eligible for counseling.

Washington State Tobacco Quitline Services
A free service to help people quit using tobacco. The quit line, 1-800-QUIT-NOW has coaches available in English and Spanish to support both immediate and long-term needs. Anyone who lives in Washington is eligible for at least one call.

Provides information about tobacco, health effects of tobacco use, resources on how to quit, and latest research on tobacco use. 

Includes a step-by-step guide to quitting smoking and resources for people who want to quit.

Quit Smoking
American Heart Association
Reasons to quit using tobacco, how to deal with urges, and resources to help people quit.

Freedom from Smoking
American Lung Association
A series of seven online modules to help quit smoking.

Guide to Quitting Smoking
American Cancer Society
Provides information and guidance on how to quit smoking.

Understanding Various Health Conditions

The National Institutes of Health has compiled resources about diabetes, arthritis, and many other health conditions at the SeniorHealth website.