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Seven Questions Doctors Should Ask Seniors

Most seniors love their doctors, and for good reason: they work tirelessly to deliver the best care possible. But few seniors know that most primary care doctors don’t get much practice caring for older people because most of their patients are far younger than 65.

Just as pediatricians specialize in caring for children, geriatricians are doctors who specialize in caring for older patients. And geriatricians know that there are a few essential pieces of information that every doctor needs to know to provide the best care for seniors. So if your doctor isn’t a geriatrician, be sure you are asked the following seven questions during a visit – and if not, offer the information to your doctor before he or she moves on to the next patient.

Question 1. What are your long-term health and life goals? Is there anything about your health that might get in the way of you achieving those goals?

Great care is personalized, and the best doctors work with you to help achieve your long-term goals.

Question 2. What is your favorite daily activity, and is there anything about your health preventing you from enjoying it?

Keeping mentally and physically active is critical to healthy aging. Great doctors will view your health through this lens, and support you accordingly. 

Question 3. Over the past two weeks, have you felt down or depressed, or had trouble sleeping because something is on your mind?

It’s common for seniors to experience depression, loss, or isolation as they age. Doctors should ask about, and treat, your emotional health with as much care as your physical health.

Question 4. Have you or your loved ones noticed any recent changes in your memory or in the sharpness of your thinking?

While memory loss is normal with aging, certain signs suggest more significant conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Asking about these symptoms can help doctors make the right diagnosis. And the earlier they can make a diagnosis, the more they can help.

Question 5. Do you worry about your balance? Are you scared of falling? 

Seniors who fall and injure themselves can face serious health issues, and they run the risk of losing their independence. Doctors have many ways to help you prevent falls, and they should be proactive about working with you on this important goal.

Question 6. Do you have any concerns about the number and type of medications that you are taking?

It’s common for seniors to take multiple medications and over-the-counter products. Your doctor plays a crucial role in understanding how they all work together, so you can get the most from your treatments. Be sure they’re asking about everything in your medicine cabinet.

Question 7. Who do you rely on for help with daily activities, and who backs them up if they’re not available? 

A good support system can help seniors thrive. By understanding more about your support system, doctors can help troubleshoot potential issues and make your health journey as smooth as possible.

Most doctors know that seniors need a different kind of care, but not all doctors have the time or experience to do it well. Welcome Health knows, because that’s all we do. And we love doing it.

Do you have questions about how to find the right doctor for seniors? Please call us, at 213-861-9115!

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Welcome Health delivers primary care that older people deserve. 

We offer seniors prevention services and long-term illness management, while emphasizing aspects that have a great influence on life quality, like physical impediments, movement issues, cognitive shifts, loneliness, and other domestic difficulties. Believing that the best healthcare anchors around your priorities, we strive to understand your personal values, life goals, and health objectives, so that every healthcare decision is made within the context of what matters most to you.

Most importantly, Welcome Health brings your primary care to you wherever you are. Our clinicians make house calls, perform virtual visits, and have office hours at our clinic, because we believe that all older people have earned the right to respectful, accessible, and convenient primary care. At Welcome Health, your priorities are the foundation of your healthcare.

In addition to providing primary care that specializes in aging, Welcome Health offers unique resources, programs, and services all designed to specifically address common challenges of aging and help people achieve the things that matter most. 

Welcome Health provides home-based primary care to older people in Los Angeles through house calls and virtual visits. Visit welcomehealth.org to learn how healthcare that specializes in aging can jumpstart your journey towards a happier, healthier life. Welcome Health accepts original Medicare and some Medicare Advantage plans.

Picture of Dr. Deena Goldwater VP of Care Delivery

Dr. Deena Goldwater VP of Care Delivery

Dr. Deena Goldwater, a cardiologist and geriatrician, trained at one of the nation’s top hospitals and has devoted her career to helping older people manage their health, even when facing multiple chronic conditions.

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