An annual wellness exam can help you stay healthy year-round
When you go to the doctor with a health concern, there’s often little time to talk about anything else. So, having a “well visit” means you and your doctor can focus on your whole health, which will help them spot conditions before they become a problem. Be sure that you and your doctor cover these topics during your annual visit:
Update your health records
Did you recently undergo surgery, or switch a particular treatment plan? Be sure to share anything new that has happened since your last visit. Bring your prescribed medications, vitamins, and over-the-counter medications. If you can, try to bring these items in their original packaging.
Discuss your treatment plans and screenings
Let the doctor know if you would like help with any habits, like eating differently, exercising more, or quitting tobacco. Ask the doctor about the various screenings available to you. See the checklist to the right for more details.
Ask what to watch for
Find out about your potential higher risks, such as arthritis, heart disease, or osteoporosis. Also, ask about the symptoms of any age-related concerns, such as memory loss or imbalance. Ask about signs that should prompt you to call 911.
Take a list of question - and a notebook
Be sure you understand what the answers to those questions mean. Take notes in the office while everything is fresh in your mind.
- I’m experiencing bladder leakage. Is there anything I can do?
- What is my body mass index (BMI), and what does it mean?
- How much exercise is right for me?
- What is my blood pressure?
- Do I need any assessments, such as a fall-risk or mental health assessment?
- Do I need any screenings for cancer, bone density, or heart health?
- Do I need any vaccines, such as a flu shot, pneumonia, or tetanus booster?
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