If you’re managing multiple chronic medical conditions, you’re definitely not alone. Approximately 85 percent of older adults have at least one chronic health condition, and 60 percent have at least two chronic conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It can be a real challenge for many older adults to manage multiple chronic conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, cognitive problems, or mental health problems. Treatments and outcomes can become scary and burdensome. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to get the care you need so you can get healthy and stay healthy! To prevent complications and get better care for managing your chronic conditions, follow these tips.
It’s important to understand your medical conditions to know exactly what you’re up against. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. When you’re at the doctor’s, take notes and ask for clarification if you don’t understand something. Ask your physician to explain what symptoms you can expect and what treatment options you have. The most aggressive treatment may not always be the best, depending on your specific needs. The more you know about your illnesses, the better you’ll be able to manage your multiple chronic conditions.
Communicate Your Priorities
The goal is to get you healthy and to ensure you’re comfortable. Express your goals for treatment with your provider. No two people are the same, so treatment plans shouldn’t be the same. Discuss your lifestyle and health needs with your physician. Different treatment options can often reach the same goal but may work in different ways with different side effects. Maybe one medication fits into your lifestyle better than the other. These are things your provider can work with you to achieve.
Be Honest With Your Provider and Speak Up
If a treatment isn’t working, let your provider know. If they’re aware of any problems you may be having from treatment, they can begin to search for alternative treatment options for managing your chronic conditions. But, again, everyone is different, so your doctor can’t exactly know how you will individually react to each and every treatment option and medication.
If you suffer from chronic conditions, get the care and treatment you deserve. Contact a VIPcare provider near you. At VIPcare, we work with patients to devise a treatment plan for managing chronic health conditions that works for them and their specific health needs.