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It is tempting to skip doctor appointments as we age, however it is during our golden years that they are the most important! Seniors must learn to be more active during medical and doctor appointments in order to understand what they can do to improve their health and why they need certain tests. The following three questions, presented by Albuquerque Home Care Assistance are a great place for seniors and older adults to start.
- How is my general health?
You need to be aware of your overall health in order to make informed decisions about your healthcare. Simple facts that a doctor should explain include the newest blood pressure reading, body weight, heart rate and anything about which he or she is concerned. You can also request a printout of your post-checkup summary, which will have this information on it.
- What tests do I need based on my age?
Although many doctors will remind you of routine tests that are coming due, you may need to ask yourself. Common tests include colonoscopies, commonly performed after the age of 55, mammograms for women over the age of 40, prostate cancer screening for men over the age of 50 and bone density scans for women older than 65. The frequency of these tests varies and should be discussed with your doctor.
- What can I do to prevent age related conditions?
Some parts of the aging process are inevitable. However, others can be slowed or even halted by making some simple lifestyle modifications. Your doctor may recommend that you stop smoking, lose some weight, consume less salt or exercise more frequently. These activities can help reduce the risk of stroke, certain cardiovascular conditions and cancers and diabetes.
Even though your doctor is looking out for your health, you need to take some initiative as well. It is important that you understand what your doctor is saying and why you need any tests that he is ordering. Feel free to ask your doctor about anything you do not understand or about anything that concerns you.
If you have trouble following along during your appointments or have trouble remembering information told to you by your doctor, ask a friend or family member to accompany you. If unavailable, consider a trusted Albuquerque caregiver who can not only provide reliable and safe transportation and help during your appointment, they can assist with making sure any doctor recommended lifestyle changes are made and carried out at home.
To learn more about hourly or live-in care in Albuquerque, call 505-798-0800 to speak with a Care Manager and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.