Routine well check visits to your primary care doctor are one of the best ways to stay healthy later in life. According to the National Council on Aging, 8 out of 10 seniors have at least one chronic medical condition. With proper preventative care, people living with chronic health conditions like arthritis, heart disease, or diabetes can manage their illnesses well and live fulfilling lives without many complications.
Unfortunately, many older adults avoid visits to the doctor. This happens for many reasons, including:
- Lack of transportation to get to appointments
- Fear of being lectured about disease management
- Dislike of medical professionals or office staff
- Distrust in the medical profession
- Simple procrastination or apathy
Whatever a person’s reasons for avoiding routine doctor visits, the consequences can be catastrophic.
Missed Appointments Can Be Hard on Your Health
As home care professionals, we all too often witness declines in our participants’ health that could have been prevented. Home care providers are non-medical helpers, so we do not diagnose or treat illnesses. But we are compassionate and empathetic caregivers, and we want our participants to live joyful and satisfying lives without being burdened by pain or symptoms of illness. We encourage our participants and their families to make (and attend!) regular doctor appointments for well checks.
Well checks, or routine physicals, with an individual’s primary provider are a vital aspect of senior care because they create trackable data. When seniors attend regular visits, they not only develop a relationship with their doctor, but they also build records that help the provider identify concerning changes in health. That combination of relationship and data is a powerful aspect of healthy living into advanced age.
Don’t Ignore Concerning Symptoms
All too often, older adults ignore new symptoms or pains. They believe that it’s just a little bug, or a strained muscle, or just another one of life’s aches and pains. Pain and illness are signals that the body sends out to alert us that something isn’t quite right!
When older adults are living with one or more chronic conditions, any new symptoms or pain should be checked by a doctor. Now that telehealth is a common practice, it’s much easier to start with an online visit to determine if an in-office checkup is necessary. The most important thing is to not ignore the issue. Small problems become big problems much faster as we age and lose immunity protection. But with timely treatment, most individuals can prevent those big problems.
Partner With Your Home Care Provider for Optimal Health
Even though our caregivers do not diagnose or treat illnesses, we are very communicative with our participants and their families. When we notice or learn about a concerning symptom, we encourage our participants to seek proper medical treatment. We also thoroughly document changes in care based on current health needs. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of having a caring helper in your, or your aging family member’s, activities of daily living, please contact us to see how Linda’s Care can help. We serve participants with affordable and high-quality non-medical home care services in Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Bucks County, Chester County and Delaware County.