To help ensure you're taking the best possible care of your own health as an older adult, perseverance will serve you well, along with these tips:
- Form a partnership. At midlife and beyond, good health is increasingly dependent on good collaborations with your clinicians. Since you are likely to be making more medical visits, find a primary care clinician with whom you feel comfortable. Work with your clinician to devise a schedule for screening tests and clinical exams. If you are prescribed medications, take them as directed; don't stray from the designated dose without talking to your doctor. Find out what you should expect from every new medication and procedure, and let your clinician know what you expect it to accomplish in return.
- Lower your expectations. Few medical treatments, from knee replacements to face lifts, will restore you to your 20-year-old self. Accept a few minor aches and pains as a consequence of overexertion and learn how to adjust your exercise and manage your symptoms with such remedies as rest, ice or heat or nn-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
- Pay attention to your body. Keep an eye on new spots and bumps, and any changes in your regular patterns, be they in appetite, sleep, energy, bowel habits, or mood. It's easy to write off many changes as consequences of aging when they could signal underlying disease.