Top free health and lifestyle services for seniors
Wednesday 15 May 2019
For many of us, our golden years are a time of adjustment as we retire from paid work, find new time to explore our hobbies and interests and – hopefully – come to enjoy a slower pace of life.
But experiencing a decline in health can dramatically impact our capacity to enjoy our senior years, so it’s important to keep up with health checks and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Queensland seniors can access a wide range of free health services including healthy lifestyle coaching, cancer screening, and qualified health advice. We’ve pulled together a list of services below.
Get Healthy (13 43 25 84)
Get Healthy (13 43 25 84) is a free phone-based information and coaching service that supports Queensland adults to reach their health goals. Whether you want to eat healthier, be more active, or achieve and maintain a healthy weight, Get Healthy can help.
By enrolling in the program, you’ll receive information and ongoing support from university-qualified health professionals. You can also call Get Healthy if you have questions related to healthy lifestyle change.
My health for life
My health for life is a free healthy lifestyle program for Queensland adults who want to reduce their risk of chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. The six-month program is delivered through local group education sessions or individual telephone coaching – you decide what works best for you. Culturally tailored group programs are also available.
You can do a free online health check at www.myhealthforlife.com.au or call 13 RISK (13 74 75) to find out if you are eligible for the program.
Healthier. Happier. focuses on the small steps we can all take towards being a little healthier. It is your one-stop shop for tasty recipes, quick exercise tips, and other resources to support you on your way. Why not join the Healthier. Happier. Facebook community for an extra dose of motivation!
Ways to keep active
Age is no barrier to physical activity – it’s about finding activities that you enjoy and are right for you.
Look for free activities through your city council or library, or find out if there’s a walking group in your area. You can also find loads of inspiration by looking through the app store on your mobile phone or tablet, or by searching for free seniors’ workouts or yoga classes on YouTube.
Make sure you speak with your doctor before starting a new kind of physical activity, if it’s been a while since you were active, or if you have a health condition.
Social connection programs
As we get older, staying connected with our friends, family and community is vital for physical and mental wellbeing.
Connect with people in your local community through a range of social programs designed for Queensland seniors.
Keen to keep in touch through technology? Build your skills in online social networking with the Tech Savvy Seniors Queensland program, which is offered at local libraries across the state.
Bowel cancer screening. The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program provides a free bowel cancer screening kit to eligible men and women to test for early signs of bowel cancer. The program invites all Australians aged between 50 and 74 years to screen every two years. The test is quick and easy, and can be done in the privacy of your own home.
Breast cancer screening. BreastScreen Queensland provides free breast cancer screening services at more than 260 locations across the state. It is recommended that all women aged 50 to 74 years have a breast cancer screen every two years. Women aged 40 to 49 and 75 years and over are also eligible to attend. You don’t need a doctor’s referral – visit the BreastScreen Queensland website or call 13 20 50 to book your appointment.
Cervical cancer screening. Cervical cancer screening is performed with the Cervical Screening Test, which replaced the Pap smear test in 2017. It is more effective and is required less often than the Pap test. For most women, your first Cervical Screening Test is due two years after your last Pap test. After that, you will only need to have a Cervical Screening Test once every five years if your results are normal. Contact your health care provider to book an appointment.
Mobile Women’s Health Service
Women in rural and remote Queensland can receive free and confidential health services through the Mobile Women’s Health Service, delivered by specially-trained registered nurses.
Clinical health services, support, health promotion and education are available on a range of topics including:
- breast care
- menopause and hormone replacement
- bladder problems
- healthy lifestyles including nutrition, weight and stress management.
QUIT HQ and Quitline (13 78 48)
It’s never too late to quit smoking – it’s a decision that can benefit you at any point in your life. Start or continue your quit journey with the help of the QUIT HQ website and access free support and assistance with Quitline (13 7848), a telephone service dedicated to helping Queenslanders quit smoking. You can speak with a Quitline counsellor between 7am and 10pm, 7 days a week. Outside of these hours you can leave your details for a counsellor to call you back during service hours or complete a ‘Request a Quitline call’ form on Quit HQ.
1300 MH CALL (1300 64 2255)
If you need of mental health support, you can call 1300 MH CALL (1300 64 2255). It is your first point of contact to public mental health services that provide support, information, advice, and referral.
The service is free, confidential, and available 24/7. It is staffed by trained and experienced mental health clinicians.
In an emergency, always call Triple Zero (000).
13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84)
13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) is a free, confidential phone service that provides qualified health advice from a registered nurse. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You can call 13 HEALTH if you have questions about your health or the health of someone you are caring for. It is not for emergencies - call Triple Zero (000) for serious or life-threatening illness or injuries.