Most people can benefit from taking an active role in their own health care. These questions will help you understand your diagnosis and prognosis, and may help you organize for the future.
- What is my formal (exact) diagnosis? Are there any additional tests usually recommended to confirm this diagnosis?
- What is the short-term (and long term) outlook for people my age?
- What is the treatment? How long is it? How incapacitating will it be? What changes will I have to make: Diet? Exercise? Driving? Cocktails? Other?
- What are side effects of my new medications? Have you reviewed my current medications for adverse drug reactions?
What to do with the answers:
- Prioritize: What do you need to do today? Tomorrow? This week?
- Get a second opinion. In most cases, it’s a good idea not to ask your current physician for a referral to the physician you use for a second opinion.
- Identify potential lifestyle changes: What changes will this make in my current activities?
- Identify potential needs: What do you need to do for your healthcare? To maintain your quality of life?
- If you are diagnosed with a serious illness, ask your doctor for a referral to a support group specific to your illness.
- Is your home still the best option for you? Do you need one story, flat, step-less entry, smaller, more appropriate for a walker or wheel accessible or other changes? Can you afford to make them or should you think about moving?
- If your illness is terminal, get help now so that you can control your future: advance directives, financial documents, durable powers of attorney, and family issues.
Judie Rappaport, President & Founder
Preferred Lifestyle Services
Trust Yourself. You Have the Knowledge, Insight,
and Power to make the right decisions for you and your parent. ©
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