Preventive Care For Seniors

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Preventive Care For Seniors

Even in the absence of specific diseases or conditions, the normal aging process requires
special attention to our health. The good news is that it is never too late to benefit from preventive care.

Your first step towards a healthy lifestyle is making an appointment with your family doctor. Together, you and your doctor can create a preventive care plan.

Eat a healthy diet, watch your weight, get some exercise and stay current on appropriate vaccinations, such as for the seasonal flu, and you will enjoy a higher quality of life.

The First Step

Your first step in adopting a healthier lifestyle is a visit with your doctor. Your doctor will evaluate your general health and recommend appropriate levels of activity and other considerations.

If you have health issues, including chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart problems or other medical concerns, pay attention to your doctor’s advice, especially as it relates to physical activity and medications.

Some changes in your body are a natural part of aging. Your body functions less efficiently making concerns such as weight gain more challenging.

Personalized guide

You and your doctor can work out a personalized guide to a healthy lifestyle that will reduce the possibility of future serious medical problems. Here are some of the steps:

  • A thorough physical examination and medical history will help your doctor decide what, if any, medical issues will affect your activities.
  • You may need to adjust your level of physical activity (up or down) depending on your doctor’s assessment of your overall health.
  • Unless told otherwise by your doctor, eat a diet that is heavy with fruits, vegetables, whole grain foods and light on processed food, sugary and/or salty snacks.
  • Discuss alcohol consumption with your doctor.
  • Quit using tobacco products. Quitting smoking, even after many years of consumption, will pay health benefits. There are medically-approved aids to help you quit.
  • Your doctor will recommend a schedule of screening tests and vaccinations (such as seasonal flu) for your particular medical situation.

Preventive Care Tips for Seniors

On concluding your visit, be sure you understand what your doctor has recommended. Understand both the effects desired and any major side effects.

Remember:

  1. After the call with your doctor, write down the essentials like change of medication or activities on your visit sheet.
  2. If what he has suggested is not possible or even probable for you to do, let him know so that he can come up with a modification that makes it achievable.
  3. If it’s something that requires a trial and report, be sure you establish when it’s best to talk to him. (For most doctors if it’s an emergency, he will respond even in the middle of seeing patients.) But, be sure that you are calling about something that needs immediate attention. I always told my patients that at the end of my day, I would be available to answer all questions, even the repetitive or slightly inane.
  4. Keep a notebook of all of your visits and the significance of each. One sheet (dated of course), can serve as your working “visit sheet.” The next page is for your reactions to what was proposed.

The bottom line is whenever you visit your doctor, it is important to take responsibility for your health and become part of the solution, and to maximize and organize your visit. With this approach you will find that your old one-way street has turned into a bright open highway for health — yours!

© 2018 Realtime Senior Living App