Take Two of These and Call Me in the Morning

Senior man taking pills

The old adage of take two of these and call me in the morning no longer applies, especially to our seniors. Seniors (those individuals over the age of 65) account for 14% of the population in the United States. That small percentage consumes over 33% of all prescriptions written by physicians. With the advances in medicine and alternative treatments becoming more and more common, medication education is in greater need than ever before. As the information age spreads to reach mature Americans, access to alternative forms of health care is becoming more and more commonplace. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a term used to describe a diverse group of healing systems that are not presently considered to be part of mainstream medicine. Naturopathic, allopathic, holistic, homeopathy, and others all offer multiple avenues for care. Some of which may provide equal or greater opportunities than your current doctor. Couple this with the availability of over the counter medications, lotions, ointments, etc. … and your body becomes a battleground for health. With this new awareness in healthcare treatments also comes a new level of responsibility for the consumer, especially our seniors. With complementary and alternative medicine becoming more common in seniors, 70% have used an alternative form of care at least once in their lifetime; education and communication with your physician are imperative. Most seniors today see at least two different doctors, if not more. Communication between your doctors becomes the key to optimizing your healthcare and personal wellness. But how does one accomplish this?

Follow these simple steps to be able to balance all of your care:

1. Keep a health journal. Write down the symptoms, reactions to medications, changes in diet, exercise or even mood. Share this information with all of your treating healthcare providers.

2. Keep a medication log. Write down all the prescription you take noting time, dose, and prescribing doctor. Also list all vitamins, supplements, over the counter medications, lotions, ointments, etc…

3. Keep a log of all the doctors you see. List their name, address, phone number, and type of practice. Also, keep all test and their results listed as well.

By keeping this information readily avail-able, you keep your healthcare team in the now and proactive in providing your care. You can also eliminate duplication of services and additional cost to you. By being proactive you can start to turn the tide in the battle for your healthcare.

Hearts of Joy Senior Care provides an afford-able, non-medical, in-home companion care service for seniors, which enables them to maintain their independence, as well as dignity and self-respect. Hearts of Joy Senior Care Inc. can be reached at (480) 948-4655.