April Harris Jackson

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Make these preventative healthcare appointments this month for an easier 2023

Make these preventative healthcare appointments this month for an easier 2023

As a child, our parents are responsible for making sure we get our regular check ups and vaccinations, but as an adult- throw in figuring out health insurance- things get so much more complicated! 

Scheduling doctor appointments is a necessary task that can come with a lot of headache and uncertainty. How often should we go? Where do you find a primary care physician???? 

Just like you get your car a check up before you go on a long trip, it’s important to regularly check in with appropriate medical professionals in order to prevent a bigger health crisis down the road. Which screenings do we need throughout our life and at what intervals? Let us help you relieve some of that stress by following these scheduling and screening tips! 

Read on for a list of appointments you should make this year, and remember to ask if your insurance is in-network when you schedule! We’ve got a handy tool at the end of this article to help you keep track of your appointments. 

Appointments for All Adults 18+

Primary care physician (PCP)

When: Annually 

Who: Everyone. Seeing a PCP on a regular basis is the best way to monitor your wellness. Your PCP will be able to help you make an informed decision on what appointments you should add to your annual list.


When: Every 6 months

Who: Everyone


When: Annually or if pregnant/trying to conceive

Who: People with female reproductive systems. It is recommended that you begin annual gynecologist visits as a teenager or after you become sexually active. Regardless of sexual activity, it is recommended that your first visit be by age 21 at the latest. If you have a new sexual partner, an STI test is recommended. If you regularly have more than one sexual partner, it might be wise to have a STI and Pap test every 6 months.  

Eye doctor

When: If you have healthy vision, schedule a visit once in your 20s, twice in your 30s, and once at age 40. Those with existing vision needs should follow their eye doctor’s recommendations on frequency of visits. If you develop any vision difficulty or eye problems, a check up is recommended.

Who: Everyone


When: Annually

Who: Everyone, especially if you spend a lot of time in the sun, are fair-skinned, or have family history of skin cancer.  


When: As recommended. Your PCP should be able to help you decide when to get vaccinations or boosters. Vaccine recommendations frequently include: 

  • Annual flu vaccine comes out around September
  • HPV vaccine and meningitis for young adults 
  • Shingles
  • Covid 19 vaccine and appropriate boosters

Who: Everyone

It’s important to get regular appointments with your doctors so they will have a baseline for your health conditions in case things change.

Appointments for Adults ages 40 +

Gynecologist – Mammogram

When: Annually 

Who: People with breasts

PCP – Rectal Exam/PSA blood test

When: Annually

Who: People with prostates 

Gastroenterologist – Colonoscopy

When: Regular screenings are recommended for those between the ages of 45 and 75. If your colonoscopy shows no signs of cancer, you can typically wait 10 years before scheduling another one. 

Who: Everyone

If you’re 50+, add this l screening to your list:

Lung Screening

When: Annually

Who: Adults who have smoked 1 pack of cigarettes per day for 20 years or 2 packs per day for 10 years and currently smoke, or adults who have quit smoking within the last 15 years.

If you’re 60+, add this screening to your list:

Osteoporosis Screening

When: Age 65 and up

Who: Cisgender women and People assigned female at birth

If you have a family history or risk factors of any particular diseases, talk with your PCP to decide if you need earlier, more regular, or other specific screenings. Remember, prevention is better (and cheaper) than the cure!   

Extra tips:

  • Need a New Year’s Resolution? Schedule all of your doctor appointments before the end of January so that you can cross that task off your to-do list and feel good about prioritizing your wellness
  • The ACA covers 100% of preventative health care. Visit for more information.
  • Add travel time to your appointments in your calendar
  • Remember to wear short sleeves to doctors appointments so they can easily take your blood pressure

We know keeping up with all of these appointments and screenings can be overwhelming. If you’re a visual organizer like us, please use our fillable guide to make sure all of your appointments are scheduled. Hang the guide on your fridge or in your office so that you’ll never miss an appointment! 

Cheers to taking care of ourselves and advocating for our health in 2023!  

How Do We Use Voice-Activated Assistants As We Get Older?

How Do We Use Voice-Activated Assistants As We Get Older?

Assistants are nothing new. Siri, the first voice-activated assistant of its kind, was introduced in 2011. Can you believe it was that long ago? We can’t!

But even before that, there were other tools, including dictation, readers, and audio books. As time has progressed, they’ve gotten more advanced, becoming even more helpful than before. 

Here’s why you should consider using voice-activated assistants.

1. We’re Not Getting Any Younger

Baby boomers are moving into their 70s, 80s, and 90s. Even Gen Xers – once considered the younger generation to avoid at all costs – are now approaching their 50s and 60s. In fact, between 2015-2050, the older population is supposed to double, reaching 2.1 billion.

Baby boomers and Gen Xers are facing challenges that can be handled using devices that weren’t available to them (or, at the very least, weren’t in widespread use) when they were younger. Fun fact: April, a young Gen Xer/elder millennial, didn’t get her first cell phone until she went off to college at 18 years old!

2. You Want to Stay in Your Home

You’re already living successfully in your own home. You have independence. And Alexa (or Siri, or the bot of your choosing) can help it stay that way. 

If you’re concerned that your kids will want to put you in an assisted living facility, a great way to keep the ball in your court is to invest in smart devices. Why? Because you can say, “If I need anything, I can ask Alexa.”

With the help of a smart device (or multiple smart devices), you can age gracefully in your own home without ever truly being “alone.” 

3. Help with Your Daily Tasks 

Your day-to-day routine can even be improved with the help of AI. There’s a huge cognitive burden on adults – no matter their age – that can be lifted by using these tools to help remember things.

You can:

  • Set reminders for medication
  • Get reminders for doctor’s appointments
  • Enjoy weather and news updates
  • Let Siri provide activity suggestions

4. Safety for Those with Mobility Issues

Younger people with mobility issues, vision challenges, etc. can be helped by voice-activated devices as well. Since all you need is your voice and a minimal investment on the device itself, you can easily access the help you need, whether it’s to call a family member when you fall down or simply want an audible answer to a question so you don’t have to squint to read the answer!

5. It Can Help You Feel Less Alone

Need someone to talk to? Alexa’s got jokes. (April says they’re terrible, but if you love to hear corny jokes, it might be right up your alley.)

A feature that April does love is that her Echo Show enables her to send pictures of her dogs to her parents. It cycles through the most recently liked photos and sends them along to her family!

6. It’s Fun and Convenient to Use

Are you tired of looking for your remote? Then use Alexa! Want to listen to your favorite obscure musician from the 1920’s? Your grandkids may roll their eyes, but Alexa will be happy to put those tunes on repeat for you. Though you’ll probably start out with a voice-activated assistant for safety reasons, you’ll probably begin using it for fun after a while!

7. Protect Your Home Even if You’re Not In It

Last month, we enjoyed the time of the year when we celebrate a spunky towheaded kid who single-handedly protects his home after being left behind while his family went on Christmas vacation. 

The whole disaster could have been avoided if we had voice-activated assistants in the 90s. Even if his parents didn’t use Alexa to communicate with their son, the kid would have had a much easier time tricking the would-be robbers, using Alexa to turn on the lights, turn on the music, and more from the safety of a neighbor’s house.

(Though a movie about that probably would have been less fun to watch.)

8. Worried About Privacy? Consider This

Privacy concerns are one of the top reasons people don’t implement helpful devices like Google Assistant, Cortana, or Siri. But did you know that there are some workarounds that can help with this concern?

You can also set Alexa to delete data after 10 days, or mute the device while you’re not using it. 

Follow Our Newsletter for More Helpful Tools!

AI assistants like Alexa, Siri, Cortana, and Google are simply tools in our toolbox. Want to hear more about the tools we use in our lives as we get older? Sign up for our newsletter for more!