As we get older, we generally have more health concerns. For a long and healthy life we must handle our health issues properly. Seniors often make mistakes when dealing with their health. Here are seven of the biggest health care mistakes made by the elderly:
1. Failing to Hear or Understand your Doctor – If you did not hear what your doctor said, ask again. If you do not understand the directions, ask for them to be written down. If you are not sure what the doctor was talking about, ask for a simpler explanation. Don’t leave the doctor’s office until you understand what is wrong with you, and what you must do about it.
2. Failing to Discuss Problems with your Doctor – Some problems are embarrassing or personal, some seem minor or trivial. Discuss all issues with your doctor. Sexual or bathroom issues may be symptoms of serious diseases. Other problems show up as simple pains and upsets. Tell your doctor about all of your problems. Maybe your doctor can help, or catch a big problem while it is still small.
3. Fighting or Hiding Aging – Our vanity can get in the way of good health. If you refuse to wear your hearing aid or glasses you may miss something important or even hurt yourself. If you refuse to use your cane or other walking assistance, you risk serious injury. Don’t be so vain, use the tools that modern technology has given us.
4. Dangers at Home – We often fail to recognize how dangerous our homes can be. Scatter rugs, poor lighting, extension cords and other hazards could send you to a nursing home with broken bones. Consider having a senior housing consultant review your home for hazards.
5. Dangers on the Road – Our mobile society virtually requires a car. It was a rite of passage when you were a teenager, so giving up your car is like giving up your independence. But, many seniors reach a point where it is no longer safe for them to drive. There is no age limit, but if you have trouble seeing or reacting, then you may need to give up driving. Plan ahead for this issue.
6. Medication Problems – Set up a schedule or system so you take your proper medications. Get all of your medications at one pharmacy so your pharmacist can check them for interactions. Take a complete list of your medications to each doctor so your treatment can be coordinated.
7. Failing to Plan – Plan for needing assistance. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, either now or in the future. Plan with your family, your professional advisors, and your community. Plan for dealing with mobility issues. Plan for ill health and disability. Your friends and family are ready and willing to help you stay healthy and happy.