Work As A Team With Your Healthcare Professional
Teaming Up With Your Healthcare Professional to Stay Healthy in Your Later Years You can have power over health decisions if you stay informed and partner with your healthcare professional regarding medical decisions.
Here are some examples of questions you can have prepared ahead of time for when you have healthcare appointments.
- How often should I have physical examinations and screening tests?
- (if a female) Is hormone therapy right for me?
- What daily vitamins, minerals or other supplements should I take?
- Are there any dietary changes that will improve my health or that will meet the needs of my body systems?
- How can I maintain a good weight and what is my ideal weight for my age, sex and height?
- What is the difference between normal aches and pains and the two forms of arthritis?
- What are my health risks?
- What exercise is the best for me and how often should I exercise?
- How can I monitor my health at home?
- What steps can I take to stay healthy and live longer?
- What informational pamphlets are available regarding my health needs?
- What other health information sources are available to me in my community or through my healthcare network?
Preparing for your medical appointments by having your questions ready is one way to team up with your healthcare professional. Another is to keep a medical journal of any symptoms you experience or any reactions to medications you take. If weight management is an issue for you it may benefit you to keep a food diary for a month.
Record all that you eat and drink (meals and snacks) including any water you drink, so that you can discuss your eating habits and how they affect your weight management, the next time you have an appointment. During medical appointments insist on being able to take an active role regarding medical treatments or procedures.
Insist on being told what the options are when facing any type of medical or surgical procedure. Discuss all pharmaceutical treatments and ask about known side-effects that you may experience while taking all medications.
You may want to check into assisted living, or senior communities before the need arises. You will be better prepared when the time comes and will also help prepare for the shock any potential move may cause.
Adults who are approaching retirement or senior citizen status should educate themselves about the programs and resources that are available to them. There are many preventive screenings available and free immunizations to aging adults.
Remember to ask about any possible interactions between new prescriptions and current medications. When faced with therapy (physical or occupational) discuss alternatives, length of therapy sessions and how intense the therapy will be. Ask about any expected pain that you may experience and what medications can be taken before, during or after treatment sessions.
Do your homework before your medical appointment. If you know you will be examined for a certain procedure or screening it may be in your best interest to look up information in the library or online. Just be careful to check to be sure the information you gather is from a reliable source that you can trust to be accurate and unbiased. There are many health magazines for persons over 50.
Aging is a normal part of life. We all have to go through 4 stages, childhood, teenhood, adulthood, and our senior years. Just be happy that you have lived long enough to be around for the last stage. Not everybody is lucky enough to makes it that far.
There is also an excellent organization for those who are 50 or older called AARP. AARP's slogan is "The power to make it better." Membership has many benefits the least of which is that you have a mighty membership that wields a powerful sword should there be a healthcare issue that threatens your age group.
The organization is a powerful source of information about financial, healthcare, family, home, legal issues, travel details, and topics that are relevant for you. Joining this or other age-related organizations can increase your awareness of what can help you to age gracefully and in good health.
Healthy Aging Issues Today