When it comes to aging well, think of your doctor as your partner in maintaining your health. During your annual checkup, be prepared to have an open dialog with your doctor about your health history, present and future. Don’t be afraid to communicate with your doctor—after all, they can’t help you with issues they don’t know about. Write down a list of any questions you have before your appointment. There are also some things that are a good idea to talk over that will help you be more proactive with your health. Here’s a list of five questions to ask your doctor during your next visit:
- Am I taking the right medications?
If you only see your doctor once a year, be sure to ask whether your last prescription is still right for you. Your body’s needs change over time, so your doctor may want to increase or decrease your medication or change your prescription altogether.
- How are my weight and blood pressure?
These factors can play a role in diabetes, heart disease and other health issues. Be proactive and talk to your doctor about your weight and blood pressure to help prevent these types of conditions. If your doctor says there is room for improvement, be sure to ask them what you should be doing to get them where they need to be.
- What’s the right form of exercise for me?
Exercise is very important for seniors. Regular activity can help prevent cardiovascular disease as well as reduce stress, improve sleep and maintain eyesight. But you’ll want to avoid high impact exercise that could increase your risk for injury. Talk to your doctor about how much exercise you need and what types of activity will best meet your health needs.
- Am I at risk for certain diseases?
Your doctor will want to review your family history and health history to help answer this question. If your doctor knows what to look for, he or she can help you be on the lookout for specific symptoms or run tests specific to issues that might be in your history. Catching a problem early can be highly beneficial.
- Is there anything you’d like me to work/focus on before our next visit?
This question helps you take ownership of your health, find out what your doctor’s concerns are and how you can address them. Whether it’s weight, blood pressure, activity level or something else, this is a good opportunity to discuss preventative measures with your doctor.
By focusing on your health and engaging your doctor in a dialog about your specific needs, there is a lot you can do to ensure a healthy mind and body as you age. We hope this article has been helpful to you and will help you make the most of your next checkup.
Do you have additional questions? Contact us using the form below!