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5 Simple Steps to Creating a Family Health Plan

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When your child is sick, you take them to the doctor. When your spouse receives a diagnosis for some illness, you Google it and learn what you can to make an informed decision about care. But too few of us have a plan for the health of our families that goes beyond reacting to sickness as it appears.

Your health and the health of your family are too important to not have a plan. Here are five simple common-sense strategies for developing and sticking to a plan for you and your family.

1. Create a Spreadsheet or Journal

Create a spreadsheet or get a journal that can act as the written version of your family health plan. It doesn’t matter where you write it down or how you write down, but you definitely need to write it down. Doing this will help you organize your thinking and help you keep track of your plan.

Personally, I create a spreadsheet for the year with the names of my family members in a column and months going across the top. I also add future years in later columns so I can record reminders for screening and health services that I learn about for future years. For each month and future years, I then write what health tasks need to be completed. I add to this list and review the list the first Sunday of every month to make sure we are staying on track.

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Bill Paquin is a patient care advocate and CEO of healthcare publisher Vertical Health. He operates websites including SpineUniverse, a leader in providing education about conditions of the spine, including osteoporosis, degenerative disc disease, scoliosis, and arthritis. Bill is a husband, father and writer who is passionate about and supports the creative destruction of our current healthcare system.

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