Prevention Is the Best Medicine
It’s cliché but true: prevention is better than a cure. This is especially true as we age. Getting ill can take a toll on the body that might be avoidable. Prevention is a fantastic tool to fight a problem before it exists. Just as falls become more dangerous as we age, so do illnesses. The good news is, much of prevention is just common sense.
The first step is taking a look at your life as seeing potential risks. As we wrote in our blog about falling, quashing the problem before it arises is critical. Consider your family history. What medical problems run in your family? Have you told your doctor? Speaking to your doctor about your family history can help him or her watch out for signs and educate you on indicators of possible health problems. Knowing more about your family’s past can help your future!
Another preventative measure is making sure your vaccines are up to date. Every year a new flu vaccine is released. We can also outgrow immunity and so it’s important to know what the vaccine schedule is. For the timeline, click here. Additionally, the CDC says that only 31 percent of men and 65 percent of women wash their hands after using the bathroom. This means that there is a high chance that, when leaving a restroom, you are exposed to other people’s germs that can make you seriously ill. So, you should take extra precautions: washing your own hands thoroughly, carrying hand sanitizer and opening doors with a hand towel.
One of the most significant things you can do is talk to your doctor about how you’re feeling. He or she is there to help, things you notice that are different about your body matter. Don’t write it off as just simple aging! When you visit your doctor for your annual wellness visit, be honest and open about how you feel both mentally and physically. Keep in mind that a wellness visit is different than a physical. While Medicare pays for wellness visits, they do not cover physicals. Federal law prevents Medicare from paying, but the program does include a yearly wellness visit. Private insurance also might not cover a physical. The company will pay for preventative measures but perhaps not something as extensive as a full physical. A wellness visit focuses on prevention, letting you and your doctor come up with the best plan for you! It doesn’t have bloodwork involved.
Be sure to speak to the doctor’s office and know what care you’ll be receiving. As with so many things in life, it's important to be your own advocate and get the preventative help you deserve to make sure that you stay safe and healthy!