Wayne Adult Community Center
Feature article from the December, 2002 Cyberspace News


A Quick Do-It-Yourself Healthcare Quiz   

  For a variety of reasons, most people these days are taking aspects of their healthcare into their own hands. So how much do you really know about your own healthcare?  Take this quick, easy quiz which appears on the website www.aarp.org to find out.  The answers appear at the end of this article.

1.  Even with proper diet and exercise, how often should adults get cholesterol screenings?
A.  Once a year
B.  Twice a year
C.  Once every three years
D.  Once every five years

2.  What are the common symptoms of hypertension (also known as high blood pressure)?
A.  Tiredness
B.  Confusion
C.  Pale/red skin
D.  None; the symptoms rarely manifest themselves

3.  What are the required elements you should find on the label of anyFDA-approved medication sold over-the-counter or via the Internet?
A.  Indications
B.  The usual dosage
C.  Warnings
D.  Expiration date
E.  Tamper-resistant features
F.  All of the above

4.  How often do experts recommend you check your medicine cabinet for expired medications?
A.  Every six months
B.  Once a year
C.  Every two years

5.  Which symptoms of arthritis should prompt you to visit your doctor?
A.  Unexpected swelling of a joint
B.  Joint pain with fever
C.   Pain limits normal activities
D.   All of the above

6.  What section of the label on over-the-counter medications offers the best advice to avoid potentially harmful drug interactions?   A.  Indications
B.  Active ingredients
C.  Warnings
D.  None of the above

7.  Approximately what percentage of older Americans are taking potentially harmful drugs that were prescribed for them?   
A.  10 percent
B.  20 percent
C.  30 percent
D.  40 percent


1.  D – You should have a cholesterol screening at least once every five years, however, medical experts recommend more frequent checks for those being treated for high cholesterol.
2.  D- In most cases, high blood pressure doesn't show any symptoms, thus the recommendation for annual blood pressure checks. Symptoms like confusion, skin color changes and fatigue show only in severe cases.
3.  F- The FDA requires all of those elements to be present on approved medications. If they're not, or you have questions while reading a label, talk to your physician or pharmacist.
4.  B – Once a year is the recommended time to throw out expired medications.  When was the last time you checked your medicine cabinet?
5.  D – All conditions signal a more serious arthritis condition that warrants medical attention.
6.  C – The warnings section details the drugs you should avoid taking with the medication. Experts also recommend you compare the active ingredients of the over-the-counter and prescription medications to avoid taking too much of a particular ingredient.
7.  B – A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that 21 percent of seniors received at least one inappropriate prescription medication. Health officials are working to include older patients in research trials for medications and encourage doctors to do semi-annual inventories of the medications (both prescription and non-prescription) their older patients take.

For a list of the nine symptoms you should not treat yourself, log onto www.aarp.org.

How Did He Do It

 In the general area of this newsletter (not the Cyberspace News section), Bill Shapiro listed things he had done via the Internet. One of the tasks he accomplished was renewing his automobile registration.  Ok, so for those of you who are not technology-friendly, how did he do it?

Simple.  He logged onto the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicle’s website at www.accessdmv.com.  He saw information pertaining to renewing his registration and clicked on the button indicated to begin.  He was then told that it’s a simple 4-step process consisting of:

1.  Entering the vehicle information.
2.  Entering the owner’s information.
3.  Paying the appropriate fees.  He was shown at the bottom of the screen which credit cards the site accepted (Visa, American  Express, etc.).
4.  Then he had the option of providing additional feedback for the site.

The screen also explained what information he would need ready to renew his registration:  his registration renewal form, his Social Security number, his valid Insurance Identification Card, and a valid credit card.

He could also click on a list of Frequently Asked Questions which would help him with the renewal process should he have any questions or get confused.  Among the questions answered was when Bill could expect to receive his registration (within 7 days), what he should do if he didn’t get it (call DMV at 1/888-486-3339 for calls made within the state of New Jersey), and questions about the security of his transaction.

So what else could he have found out through this website?  Lots, including:

Where DMV service centers are located, what services they provide, and their hours of operation.
Questions about driver licensing and testing.
Information regarding state and private inspection stations.
A list of facilities that do the new emissions test
Data regarding special license plates
A list of publications you can view via this website or order separately

   We’ll be exploring how Bill performed other tasks in the next edition of Cyberspace News. So stay tuned!