Doctors – This category discusses physicians and specialists who become involved in our care as we age. A good relationship between doctor and patient is critically important to make sure you or your loved one receives the best care. Insurance regulations complicate the ability to receive needed and beneficial care. Ignorance regarding the questions to ask or information to provide results in poor levels of care. Remaining with a family doctor rather than consulting a geriatrician or a specialist can be detrimental to achieving beneficial care.
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“About 15 to 20 percent of all diagnoses are missed or flat-out incorrect,” according to Lori Parch in an article titled Danger at Your Doctor’s Office. Today, more than ever, it is important to understand the details, manage and advocate for medical care. This is especially relevant for older adults who see doctors as individuals to be revered versus questioned when they don’t understand a medical treatment or why a medication is being prescribed. A recent client of mine had a doctor increase the frequency of chemotherapy treatments and when I asked why; my client could not give me an answer because he didn’t question the doctor.
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As we age, we typically experience one or more chronic diseases that benefit from medical oversight. If you’re not familiar with the term chronic disease it means a generally incurable illness or condition that we live with for many years that is usually managed by medication but in the early stages may be reversed by diet, exercise or other preventative measures. Common chronic diseases include: arthritis, asthma and related breathing difficulties, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and more recently memory loss.