Plan to Regularly See Your Doctor
There are benefits to our aging seniors in receiving consistent medical advice and reviews. Sometimes, it is not easy to travel to a doctor’s appointment. But, there are an increasing number of options to accommodate the elderly.
There are cyclical and health reasons for elderly parents to schedule consistent appointments with their primary care physician. Some might be quarterly. Some semi-annual. And, at minimum, an annual check-up, meeting, and health review should be undertaken.
Elders avoid meeting with doctors in fear of bad news. In reality, ongoing “maintenance” is beneficial to all parties. Frequency of visit establishes better communication, where seniors can discuss health observations, aches, etc. with their physician. In addition, annual blood tests can be critically important to maintain the body’s chemical balance – which changes as we age.
Simply adhering to doctor’s advice and instruction may reduce appointments required. Plus, taking proper care in diet, nutrition, lifestyle and activities can be greatly beneficial.
While medical information online can be informative to help frame and understand more about general health issues, only professionals with education and training should make diagnoses and prescribe treatments. Many seniors who are active online tend to utilize information for self-diagnosis. It bears repeated reminders… the Web does not have a medical degree.
Increasingly, there are alternatives to traditional doctor visits that may benefit seniors. There may be a regional medical practice which provides check-ups in the home. Secondly, there are more and more virtual or phone-based medical/nursing call centers for consultation services.
Informed assistance at the drug store can provide helpful flu shots or diagnose common illnesses. Finally, more and more walk-in clinics, or urgent care centers, are popping up to promptly assist those in need.
One of the reasons aging adults tend to see doctors often is for cyclical treatments, check-ups, or preventative care. Seniors should make a health commitment to themselves (and others), and stick to a plan which includes:
— Annual check-ups
— A colonoscopy every decade
— Annual vaccinations
— Regular eye exams
— Dental exams twice a year
— Screenings for cancer, thyroid disorders, etc.
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John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions.
Phone: (781) 378-2164