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Personal Preparedness During Coronavirus: Securing Your Health Outlook

woman making personal preparedness list at home
A personal preparedness checklist can provide peace of mind for you and your family.

While at home, finding the inspiration to exercise and eat right can sometimes be a challenge. But there are impactful ways you can improve your overall health outlook, and your family’s, from your laptop at home. This personal preparedness checklist provides easy ways to help you feel more secure about your health, your family and your future.

Clean Out Old Medications

During your spring cleaning this year, go through your medicine cabinet and dispose of any expired, unwanted, or unused medicines. This is the best way to avoid accidental or intentional misuse, and to keep your current medication regimen in order.

If you’re unable to access a drug take back location, follow these FDA guidelines for safe disposal in the trash and toilet.

Create an Advance Directive

It can be an awkward talk, but it’s not one worth putting off. Don’t wait until it’s too late to talk to your family about your wishes regarding medical treatment. Take the initiative to look into an advance directive, living will, or do not resuscitate (DNR) order. Consider where you stand on dialysis, breathing machines, resuscitation, tube feeding and organ or tissue donation. It can be as easy as writing your requests on a piece of paper, but make sure you:

  • Sign and date the document
  • Have two adult witnesses
  • Give your healthcare provider a copy

If you live in the state of Virginia, you can find your advance directive form here and complete at home.

Learn CPR

CPR could save someone’s life while you wait for professional medical attention. More than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of a hospital each year, so getting certified can help others. You can learn AED use and the proper way to perform primary assessments and CPR.

If you are already certified in CPR/first aid, this is a good time to double check, as your credentials are only good for two years from the award date.

While at home, you can begin certification by completing the online portion of a CPR/AED course with American Heart Association. Just don’t forget to register for the hands-on portion at your local training center once their doors open up again.

Get Your Health Record in Order

The Heath Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) allows you access to your health records. This gives you more control to:

  • Check for mistakes
  • Look at your current medications
  • See current and necessary immunizations, screenings and follow up appointments

Stay Healthy and Informed

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UVA offers a secure online portal for you to manage and receive information about your health. MyChart gives you access to:

  • Request medical appointments
  • View your health summary
  • View test results
  • Request prescription renewals
  • Access trusted health information resources
  • Communicate electronically and securely with your medical care team

Prevent Falls in Your Home

Falling down is usually not a big deal when you’re a kid. But if you’re 65 or older, it can mean a hospital visit and, sometimes, major injuries.

Kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms are all areas where the risk of falls are high. Be aware of your surroundings, including the floors, stairs and steps, to help prevent you or someone else from a fall injury.

Make sure your home is safe: Follow these fall prevention tips.

Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that can kill you. Having a CO detector in your home is just as important as a smoke detector. And a wide variety of detectors are available through trusted online retailers and can be delivered to your doorstep.

Anytime you burn fuel in vehicles, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, and furnaces, it produces CO fumes. Indoors, the fumes can build up and poison people and animals who breath it.

Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in your home with a few simple checks with I CAN B (PDF). Having a CO detector in your home with new batteries is a great start. Don’t forget to check the batteries in your detectors; a helpful tip to remember is when you change your clocks for daylight savings.

Become an Organ Donor

Being put on a transplant wait list may feel like a death sentence due to the large amount of people in need. An average of 20 people die each day while waiting for a transplant. By becoming a donor, you can save eight lives.

Also, consider being a living donor, which is a great opportunity to donate an organ (kidney) or part of an organ (liver, lung, or pancreas) to another person in need. Help relatives, friends, coworkers, or strangers by becoming an organ donor this year.

Sign up: It’s easy to register at Donate Life Virginia. Help those in need by becoming an organ donor this year.

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