Knowing How to Converse with Your Healthcare Provider on Your Annual Checkup
Anyone over the age of 65 should have an annual physical. Generally speaking this is usually covered by your insurance. This is important in your overall healthcare record. If you are someone who has held off seeing your health care provider for years the first appointment might be intimidating. With an annual physical insurance allows for more time, which is a good thing as you are able to ask more questions. However, you want to maximize the time that you have. There are several tips to help with getting the most out of the appointment and get your questions answered. First, try to have someone you feel comfortable with come with you to your appointment so that you don’t miss anything. Often it is a family member, i.e., daughter, husband, etc. They can be your extra set of ears so that the information you receive is complete. Second, you will need to maximize your time by having a specific list of questions. You will need to recognize that it is unlikely that all of the questions will be answered due to the time limitation. So, make sure that the top three (3) questions are your priority. They are those questions that need the most complete answers and perhaps tests that are required. For example, if you are having some trouble remembering appointments, or forgetting to pay bills, you may be asked to take an exam to give your healthcare provider a baseline record of your memory at the time of the appointment. Based on the grad, your provider may want to have more tests run. Once the exam is finished, you want to make sure you have a follow-up appointment scheduled. This might be to review tests that the healthcare provider schedules or just a bi-annual or annual visit. In any case, you need to start a regular pattern of visits so that you have a relationship with your provider. The more the provider knows about you the better they will be able to help you.