Healthy Living In Your 80s

You’re in your 80s! What can you do to be as healthy as possible? Your yearly wellness visit is a good time to talk about your personalized prevention plan. This plan helps keep you well and healthy. If your doctor or nurse accepts Medicare, you will not pay anything for your yearly wellness visit. The yearly wellness visit is not the same as an annual exam or physical. Learn more at Medicare.gov. Get the conversation started at your next wellness visit with this list.

Every day, I will try to:
  • Eat healthy — use the MyPlate Plan to get started
  • Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity. Each week I will do aerobic activity and exercises to improve my balance and strengthen my muscles. I will talk to my doctor about any conditions that limit my ability to do regular physical activity.
  • Get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep
  • Reach and maintain a healthy weight
  • Get help to quit or not start smoking
  • Limit alcohol use to 1 drink or less
  • Not use illegal drugs or misuse prescription drugs
  • Wear a helmet when riding a bike and wear protective gear for sports
  • Wear a seat belt in cars and not text and drive
I will talk to my doctor at least once a year about:
  • My weight, height, diet, and physical activity level
  • Whether I use tobacco, alcohol, or drugs
  • Any violence in my life
  • Depression and any other mental health concerns
  • Who will make health care decisions for me if I am unable to
I will ask my doctor whether I am at higher risk of or need tests, medicines, or vaccines this year for:
  • Blood pressure
  • Breast cancer prevention medicines
  • Flu
  • Hepatitis A, B, and C
  • HIV
  • Lung cancer (if 80 or younger and if I smoke now or have quit within the last 15 years)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pneumonia
  • Shingles
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough
  • Tuberculosis
  • Urinary incontinence

The decision to get any medical test or procedure, at any age, is a personal one between you and your doctor. These age ranges may not apply to every person.

These guidelines are based on recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force  (link is external), the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines, the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

All material contained on these pages are free of copyright restrictions and maybe copied, reproduced, or duplicated without permission of the Office on Women’s Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Citation of the source is appreciated.

Page last updated: February 25, 2021