Seniors Need to Demand the Health Care They Deserve

It appears that seniors in our society have become complacent about ho-hum  health care. In a recent study, most seniors stated they were satisfied with  their primary health care even though they indicated that their doctors were not  asking them about health issues that can mean life or death to older Americans.  Almost a third of those polled said that their doctors never asked them about  the medications they were taking, and only 30% had doctors who had inquired  about their incidence of falling which basically amounts to ignoring the #1  cause of injury for senior citizens. In response to these discoveries, seniors  need to step up their game and become more proactive during visits to their  primary care doctors.

The number one rule of all doctor visits is to take a list of all the  medications you are taking with you, including the dosage. Include any dietary  supplements and  over-the-counter preparations you are taking, too. You might also consider  writing down a  list of questions you want to ask. You can do this over the several weeks prior  to the appointment. Just jot down thoughts as they come to you, and during time  spent with the doctor, you’ll be able to read them off knowing that you aren’t  forgetting to mention something important.

Never hesitate to discuss anything relevant with your doctor. Be completely  honest, because not even the most skilled physician can keep you in good health  without knowing exactly how you’re feeling. Some topics may seem difficult to  talk about, but rest assured that your doctor has already heard it all, and  anything you have to say is just a part of a physician’s day’s work. Don’t be  afraid to admit to the truths about your condition. For example, if you are  experiencing difficulty with your driving, don’t hold this information back for  fear you may lose your license. It may well be that your doctor can help you  with these problems, and, if not, you shouldn’t be driving, for your own safety  and that of other drivers.

Make sure your primary care physician is aware of any other doctors you are  seeing and any medications the other doctors have prescribed. Your health care  program needs to be coordinated by someone, and your primary care doctor is the  best one for the job.

Don’t let your doctor try to rush you through a check-up. Ask questions, and  insist on answers. Many doctors have little experience with older patients and  tend to feel uncomfortable navigating in unknown territory. Therefore, the  doctor could be ignoring something that’s wrong with you because he doesn’t want  to deal with it. A sad fact about today’s health care is that most seniors  totally trust their doctors to take care of them, even when they aren’t. If you  feel like you’re getting a runaround, you probably are. The sooner most  conditions are diagnosed, the better your chances of beating them. Therefore,  insist on the care you deserve.  (By Kristie Brown)



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