Posted by: options4care | November 30, 2010

The Best Health Care Advocate- You

To remain living independently, seniors should play an active role in their health. As we age, our health becomes more and more important to us. As we age, many of us may develop health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes or arthritis. Things are not as simple as when we were younger. things are suddenly changing and we need a health care team.

We all are members of a health care team. We all have a doctor, maybe a nurse that visits us. A physical therapist, a pharmacist. An eye doctor. But you are the most important member of that team.

All health care members are important sources of information. They are there to help and advise us. They are there to keep us healthy and make us better. But to best understand how to take care of ourselves we need to communicate with our team.

You are your own advocate. You need to establish and build a relationship with your doctor and your team. Your doctor will not know what concerns you have or what your needs are if you do not discuss them.

Prepare for your appointment by writing down any concerns or questions you may have. Take a family member along to help you feel at ease.
Take your time. Gather your thoughts and relax. Address one issue at a time. Your doctor will listen. He or she is a member of your team. He or she is there to help you.

Explain your needs and concerns. Try to be specific. Let your doctor see that your health is important to you. Always ask your doctor to explain anything that you do not understand. You have a big stake in this. It is your body, your health. Jot down notes after your visit to help you remember. It is a physicians job to provide you with the best medical care.

No one knows you like you do. You are your own best advocate. You are the most important member of the team. It is your health and well-being. You can make a difference in your care and in your health. When it comes to your care, always remember to speak up, communicate, question and discuss.

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