Pandemic Lesson: Elderly People Should Return To Their Doctors And Prioritize Preventive Care
Elderly patients need to reconnect with their doctor for a wellness visit. Roberto Silvino / NurPhoto via Getty Images Elderly people are more burdened with illness and death from COVID-19, and those over 65 have a higher rate of hospitalization and death. But that’s just part of the sad story. In many cases, older people stopped seeing a doctor and standard clinical care for chronic conditions and preventive care was postponed. When the clinic reopened, many patients did not return after the first closure in the spring of 2020. A national survey and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that nearly one-third of U.S. adults, or about 32%, reported delays in routine care due to the March-July 2020 pandemic. .. Public Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and NPR have found that one in five US households struggle to get medical care when needed during a coronavirus outbreak. This was most often due to problems in obtaining appointments, resulting in poor health in more than half of the cases, or 57%. First aid care is important, but preventive care is also important, especially for optimizing the health of the elderly. As a geriatrician and professor of medicine, I think one of the best things the US healthcare system can do is make 2021 the year of preventive medicine, especially for the elderly. Your doctor will discuss how many medications your elderly are taking during your wellness visit. Spencer Pratt / Getty Images Care Beyond the COVID-19 Vaccine Due to its vulnerability to COVID-19, older Americans were first lined up when the COVID-19 vaccine was released to the public. It was in perfect agreement with the public health prevention strategy. Vaccination of the elderly, such as influenza, shingles and pneumonia, is an important element of preventive care. However, preventive care is more important than vaccination for the elderly. Preventive care is an important healthcare that is in line with the patient’s other medical conditions and goals of care. Preventive screening for the elderly should be based on a separate preventive plan between the patient and the physician. Ideally, prophylactic screening should identify the problem before it occurs. Talk about living alone, memory changes, falls, and who can help you when you need it. For people over the age of 65 who have owned Medicare Apartment B for 12 months, Medicare offers a wellness visit once every 12 months, often free of charge each year. Medicare’s annual wellness visits differ from regular follow-up appointments for chronic conditions. This visit is fully focused on health risks and prevention. The change from the COVID-19 pandemic allows doctors or healthcare providers to even do it as a telemedicine video visit. The focus of this visit is on preventive care and health. This includes: Reviewing your medical history and family history Creating or updating a list of current health care providers and prescriptions Height, weight, blood pressure and other routine measurements Detection of cognitive impairment Personalized Health Advice Assessment of Risk Factors and Treatment Options Pre-Care Plan Schedule or Checklist for Appropriate Preventive Services such as Screening and Vaccine If you haven’t seen a doctor in the last year, don’t worry. I am confident that they will be happy to hear from you and work to keep you healthy. So call your doctor or healthcare provider today to make an appointment and ask if you are eligible to book an annual wellness visit to Medicare. Healthcare systems and patients need to focus on health optimization as the country begins to exceed the highest number of cases and mortality in the COVID-19 era. [You’re smart and curious about the world. So are The Conversation’s authors and editors. You can get our highlights each weekend.]This article has been republished by The Conversation, a non-profit news site aimed at sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by Laurie Archbald-Pannone of the University of Virginia. Read more: Why are older people healing so slowly? Almost two-thirds of older black Americans cannot afford to live alone without help. It’s even more difficult for Latin Americans. We receive funding from companies or organizations that benefit from this article and do not disclose any relevant affiliations other than academic appointments.