Getting the Most Out Of Your Health Care Visits
Annual visits to your geriatrician or primary care doctor are an important part of keeping you healthy well into your senior years. However, if you are otherwise relatively healthy, you may find yourself with nothing to talk about during your time on the doctor's table. Or, you may have many questions but are met with a busy doctor who answers quickly and seems rushed. Either way, you can get more out of your senior health care visits by following just a few of our tips.
Prepare Ahead Of Time
The key to getting more out of your doctor visits is to start thinking about your visit well before your car pulls into the parking lot. A month or two before your scheduled appointment, put a notebook and pen on your kitchen counter or in your purse. Use this area to write down any questions or concerns that you have; write them down as you are thinking about it. Then, a week or so before your appointment, you can filter through what is in your notebook to see which issues are still applicable or concerning.
Go In With a List Of Questions
Don't go to your doctor appointment without a list of questions already written and on hand. In the busyness of the visit, you may not be able to remember what you wanted to talk about when your doctor puts you on the spot by asking if you have any questions. Have your list handy and pull it out when your doctor is ready to listen.
Take a Friend
Heading to the doctor shouldn't be a solitary affair. Instead, bring along your spouse, daughter, or other trusted friend to the appointment with you. Not only will your companion help pass the time when you are stuck in the waiting room, but another set of ears to hear what the doctor is saying is always a benefit. Have your friend take notes and ask questions that you may have forgotten.
Update Your Records
Your annual appointment is a wonderful time for you to be sure that your health care provider has all of your updated information. Review your information carefully, including your address and phone number, your emergency contact information, your current prescriptions, and your preferred hospital choice.
Keep Prescriptions Current
Speaking of prescriptions, bring along a list of your current medications, supplements, and vitamins. Include who prescribed it, what the medication is, how often you take it, and why you take it. Sometimes, specialists prescribe medications without reviewing your current prescriptions which can lead to unnecessary side effects or complications. Use your time at your primary care office to review what you are taking and why. This practice can save you not only unpleasant side effects, but could also save you money.
Schedule Preventive Care or Follow Ups
While you are at your doctor office, go ahead and schedule any annual preventive care screenings or appointments that you will need. If a schedule conflict appears over the next year, you can always change the date. But, making your health a priority by scheduling in the preventive care that your doctor recommends for the entire year can eliminate any excuses for the next 12 months.
Your health care visits are important. If you head into the office prepared and ready to plan your year, you are making a statement that your health is a priority.
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