How Seniors Can Handle Common Health Care ChallengesNovember 9th, 2022
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According to statistics, senior citizens use medical services far more frequently than younger people. Unfortunately, though, senior citizens often face major challenges as they navigate the health care system. Medical errors, inaccessible providers, and high costs of care are just a few of the most common problems. Seniors who want to address these challenges can do so through self-advocacy and education. Here are some tips from Polish Care Services to get you started!
Be Your Own Biggest Advocate
Self-advocacy is an important skill for every person, and it’s even more vital for seniors who are seeking medical care. You may hesitate to question a doctor’s opinion or feel timid about asking questions, but these are important steps to take toward handling your health care. If you struggle to advocate for yourself during medical appointments, consider asking a friend or family member to come with you to your next appointment.
Other ways that you can advocate for your health include reviewing your medical bills for errors, familiarizing yourself with your health insurance benefits, and maintaining your own copies of medical records. If you decide to keep your own records, you should ensure that you have copies of medical images, too, such as x-rays. You can keep all of these images in one file by uploading them with a free online tool, combining them, and downloading the file.
Remember that self-advocacy sometimes means that you must hold yourself accountable, too. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with work and feel as though you have no time to invest in physical activity. It doesn’t take much effort to commit to small changes, though, such as walking during a lunch break or taking the stairs rather than the elevator.
Consider All of Your Options
Seniors should never settle for subpar care. You may be tempted to do this, though, if you’ve been seeing the same medical provider for a while or if switching seems like it would be too much trouble. If you’re unsatisfied with the treatment you’re receiving, you need to consider whether it’s time to seek out a different doctor. Having a positive relationship with your health care provider can correlate to better health outcomes, so it’s worth investigating.
In other cases, you may not want to switch providers, but perhaps you do want to seek out a second opinion. Doing so is an effective way to advocate for your health and ensure that you are making informed decisions. To pursue a second opinion, ask your current provider for a referral, or simply search online for other doctors in your area.
As you’re wading through the challenges of the medical system, consider whether managing your own care is the best option. In some cases, it isn’t, and a senior living facility can alleviate the stress surrounding medical care.
Something else to consider: as you’ve probably already realized, these matters can be extremely complex, and jostling a great deal of paperwork and medical records can quickly become rather confusing. To keep things a bit more manageable, try combining your files whenever possible. If you’re not super tech-savvy, this is how you can add additional pages to your PDF with ease.
Seniors Can Care for Their Health Through Self-Advocacy
Despite a lifetime of experience and knowledge, it can still be difficult for seniors to advocate for themselves. It’s essential to do so when dealing with health care, though. Seniors can make progress towards self-advocacy and protect their health by maintaining their own medical records and investing in physical activity.
Polish Care Services provides a high quality of service, compassion and professionalism for cleaning, and caregivers that will meet or exceed expectations. Call 860-255-8278.
Credit: June Duncan