The following article was written by Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. M.E. Hecht, author of “A Practical Guide to Hip Surgery” and “The Slip and Fall Prevention Handbook: You Make the Difference.”
Dr. Hecht approaches how seniors can get the most from their doctor’s visits, and offers sage advice to those 65 and older. Learn more about the best preventive care tips for seniors and how to make the most of this time.
I get a lot of questions from patients surrounding: “How should I treat my doctor appointments?” “What should I ask?” and, “I feel like it’s a one way street.” So, I am sharing with you some of the advice I have given to my patients.
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For anyone 65 years or more, a visit to their doctor can be a real advantage. It can prevent potential problems and treat known conditions. It is perhaps best scheduled as an event much like the seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter.
I use the word “event” deliberately, rather than a chore to be avoided or dreaded. As an event, there are ways to take advantage of the visit — to maximize the benefits. A doctor visit as a planned occurrence can represent a major tool for independence and control, and which of us doesn’t relish these life qualities at any age?
For many, it’s also an issue of you making the difference and becoming part of the solution. How you prepare, manage and organize the visit is key. With this type of thinking you can make the most of the visit, and believe it or not, make the most of and organize your doctor as well.
If you are prepared to relate precisely what you are feeling and how you are doing, it elicits both attention and interest from your physician.
You should come to your doctor’s appointment ready to describe and quantify the following:
Your appointment must not be a haphazard event. Prepare by writing a list short and to the point for each of these. Leave space beneath each for your doctor’s answers and suggestions.
Additionally, be sure to:
On concluding your visit, be sure you understand what your doctor has recommended. Understand both the effects desired and any major side effects. Remember:
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!
M.E. Hecht, M.D., is a published author, freelance writer and Orthopedic Surgeon. Her published books and articles have been written for Vogue Magazine, Sunrise River Press, The Wall Street Journal, American Medical News, Medical Tribune, Nations Business and others. She is also author of “A Practical Guide to Hip Surgery” and “The Slip and Fall Prevention Handbook, You Make the Difference” — both books are available online at Amazon.
What has helped you be prepared and organized for doctor’s visits? Share your preventive care tips and suggestions with us in the comments below.