Desperately Seeking Skilled Medical Care For Our Elders

Over the last few years, I’ve increasingly become an active partner with my 86 & 88 year old parents’ healthcare adventures – some of which have been equal to Alice’s in Wonderland.

Does it surprise you to know that I have found many doctors in a geographic area filled with aging retirees to be less than adept in their treatment of an elder patient? I’m guessing it comes as no surprise to members of The Greatest Generation or their children sharing in their care. And since that will be all of us someday, it’s up to all of us to become not only aware of the paucity of decent healthcare for aging folks, but active proponents for improving such an absurd disconnect between supply and demand.

I’ll give my father’s recent experience as an example. His one condition was misdiagnosed and the other was incorrectly medicated, all due to a lack of proper attention on the part of not one but two doctors. We were not about to give up on him as local doctors had, however, so we took him to one of the best doctors in the country, in a facility with state of the art diagnostic equipment (all in NYC) where he received both amazing care and a new lease on life. What would have happened had we not done our own research and taken aggressive action, instead leaving him in the hands of practitioners best suited to treat someone who is 32 and generally healthy? My father’s best friend found out…he passed away while my father was in the hospital – of the same condition as my father’s.

So, here’s some tips for those to whom this issue applies – which did I mention is really everyone?

1. Be a full partner in care, not a passive consumer:

Conduct yourself like a professional healthcare coordinator who is responsible for a precise understanding of all aspects of the patient’s care (starting with a crash course on the diagnosed conditions and their treatments) – do not blindly accept information or opinions of medical professionals who see hundreds of patients a week and spend a very limited time with all of them

2. Hold your healthcare professionals accountable for quality care:

Do not accept non-answers, vague answers, answers in medical jargon, or the attempt made by so many doctors to treat your questions as silly or unnecessary – you would not accept this of any other service provider, and a doctor is no different

3. Always seek second or even third opinions:

In fact, seek out the leaders in the specialty associated with the patient’s diagnosed condition, wherever they are – also remember, this is business, so do not accept guilt trips, hurt feelings, or any other unprofessional reaction on the part of your doctor – if that happens, find another doctor

4. Do not accept long waits due to over-booking:

Being retired does not mean that one’s time is any less valuable – the archaic practice of over-booking is both disrespectful and a sign of the level of care you can expect to receive once you’ve waited another 40 minutes half-naked in the examination room…

5. Insist that all current medical providers work as a team and consult with each other:
This applies particularly as major treatment decisions are being made, and if any doctor refuses, find another who understands best medical practice

6. Insist that all doctors pay close attention to the patient’s current medications and treatments: (note this does not mean the assistant asking and then the doctor ignoring…)
Keep your own list of all current treatments &medications, and make sure they are discussed and compatible with each other (not contraindicated).

7. Finally, insist on an explanation of how your doctor views the impact of age on his/her approach to both preventive and interventive treatments. Don’t let a medical professional get away with limiting their level of care or treatment options simply because the patient is “elderly”… When that happens, find someone with a greater understanding of the immense capacity, resiliency, and determination of an elder person who is either treatable by someone with the appropriate level of expertise, or would rather fight to the end for an improved life than be sent home to fade away and die.

The Role Physical Therapy Plays In General Orthopedic Care Today

Whenever you sprain an ankle or suffer a deep bruise or similar injury to an arm or leg, what is the first thing that you do? You go to your doctor for some general orthopedic care for that injury. Orthopedics as a discipline covers a wide range of treatment for most injuries and diseases that affect the muscles, tendons, ligaments or bones in the human body. There are quite a few specialist disciplines under this school of treatment and each one is specific to the exact condition of the patient. In this article, we will explore the specialty of physical therapy and how it can play a huge role in the treatment of certain medical conditions.

Going Beyond General Orthopedic Care

Most people will go to their doctors whenever they suffer an injury that requires more than just regular first aid to treat; especially when it involves pulled or strained muscles. There are also a vast array of medical conditions that can affect the bones and muscles in our bodies, from arthritis to sciatica, and the treatment for these types of ailments may need to go beyond pain management, and require surgery or other non-surgical methods like chiropractic or physical therapy.

Chiropractic therapy can help with pain management through adjustments and other non-surgical therapies designed to help the bones and muscles in an affected area, like the back, regain their proper position and begin to heal on their own. Physical therapy on the other hand, helps a patient to continue to function within the limitation of an injury or physical condition, so that they can regain mobility and flexibility. It also helps to improve the overall health of the patient during treatment.

What Happens During Physical Therapy?

During the initial assessment, the physical therapist will often take a thorough assessment of the patient’s condition or injury, by asking a series of questions designed to tell them how well the patient is functioning physically. Depending on how the patient was referred, as a coordinated treatment plan for their injury or as after care therapy post-surgery, an X-ray or MRI may be taken to see how well the affected area is responding to the medical treatment. The therapist will use this information to develop a plan for physical exercises to help the patient regain function of the affected area, to regain physical strength and well-being and improve their flexibility, balance, coordination and fitness.

The main difference between physical therapy and other disciplines such as chiropractic medicine is that it requires the full cooperation of the patient for any therapeutic measures to succeed. While the exercise routines prescribed may seem simple on the surface, there is a definite science behind it all, that encompasses the anatomy of the intricate networks of muscles throughout the human body, their tolerances for flexibility and strength, and how to generate self-healing of the body through kinetic resistance and physical exertion.

Not a Quick Fix

While physical therapy sessions may incorporate treatments normally used in general orthopedic care, like hot and cold packs, massage, ultrasound tests and TENS therapy, it should never be thought of as a quick fix for what ails you. For physical therapy to work successfully, it requires the full cooperation of the patient and a true desire to work together to achieve its maximum effects. Pain medication will ease your pain but physical therapy will restore function and flexibility you may not have with medication alone. It takes time, patience and perseverance, but the rewards far outweigh the difficulty.

Anti-Aging (Medical Care)

The process of retarding aging is commonly referred to as the anti-aging process. It is a reference to the prevention and the slowing down of the aging procedure.

Further it also lays emphasis on the reversal of the anti aging effects that have already shown themselves. In this context the field of anti-aging psychology deals with the necessary instructions regarding the methods to deal with the physical changes in the body and the individual anxiety that accompanies it.

Its history can be dated back to the early era in Egypt where great emphasis was laid on religion and the afterlife. Hence several beauty therapies and medicines evolved with the passage of time for the promotion and the endurance of good looks. With the passage of time several scientists have strived to find suitable treatments for it and people of other societies namely India and China have also laid great emphasis on the practice and adoption of methods that involve the promotion of anti-aging.

Several ongoing and already conducted researches have also led to the conclusion that life extension has been a significant element of anti aging. It revolves around the inclusion of a proper diet and the incorporation of additional supplements into it in the average lifestyle. Skin care and general health are also comprised in it. Several anti-aging pills are also sought for this purpose. Other skin care therapies such as skin resurfacing, the Botox cure and plastic surgery are quite popular.

Health spa’s business is currently on the rise. The massive revenues that are being produced by the all ready working health spas in the United States are a testimony to their popularity. Both relaxation and beauty therapies are available at these spas. Other than treatments rigorous exercise routines are also incorporated in the daily routines which focus on the end result of cardio vascular ailments.

Walk-In Clinics Provide Needed Medical Care

It’s Sunday morning, and your infant has been crying for hours. It could be cramps or an earache. Your pediatrician’s office is closed. Before you head to the emergency room, you should know that walk-in clinics are available to handle many family practice health issues.

General Guidelines

Walk-in clinics treat minor emergencies that are not life-threatening. On-staff certified physicians provide qualified care to patients who come in. These walk-in clinics exist for convenience, when you can’t wait to see your doctor, and don’t feel the extended wait times at an emergency room’s triage center are worth the trip. If possible, you should assess the seriousness of your condition before visiting a walk-in clinic. You can often call to speak to a nurse on-duty about symptoms or consult medical websites. More information about what kinds of services are available at a particular walk-in clinic is usually available on their website.

Walk-in clinics can handle some first aid and non-trauma conditions, and the board-certified medical personnel there will let you know if they cannot treat your condition. You will otherwise be treated quickly and the same day without the need for an appointment.

Walk-In Clinics also accept most insurance plans. Insurance companies will often charge far less for a clinic visit than for an emergency room visit. If your insurance plan is not accepted, or you do not have a valid insurance plan, ask about available options for treatment.

Treatable Symptoms

There are a variety of conditions that can be handled by walk-in facilities including:

• Cuts and/or bruises
• Infections
• Rashes
• Headaches
• Stomachaches
• Sore throats
• Sinus conditions
• The flu or colds
• Asthma
• Minor sprains or fractures
• Cough
• Diarrhea or vomiting

In addition to treating these ailments, many walk-in clinics can also administer immunizations and conduct physical exams, screenings and lab tests.

Finding Your Walk-In Clinic

There has been an increase in walk-in clinic facilities recently. This increase has been generally funded by private investors, which often means the clinic is not affiliated to a local hospital. This can have good and bad results. One good result is you rarely have to wait too long. Another is that walk-in clinics are no longer mostly found in large metropolitan areas. With the rise of walk-in clinics, there is likely to be one near you. A quick search on the Internet or a call to your local information service will provide an ample number of options.

Cut the Red Tape and Feel Better Fast

It’s good to have options. Your doctor may give you more personalized care, and the emergency room may possess the best equipment and staff for emergencies, but when the other inconvenient situations occur that can’t wait for your regular doctor or don’t require an emergency room visit, there’s the option of walk-in clinics. Many clinics even offer online registration to facilitate the treatment process. It’s about getting better when you need it, without the paperwork, and fast.

General Medical Care for Minor Emergencies

Minor injuries are usually the most troublesome type of injury because even though they are minor, they still need some type of medical treatment. It almost seems like a waste to go to the hospital to fix a minor injury after you see the bill, and you will find yourself waiting even longer in line because the hospital will see that your injury is not first priority. By going to a clinic that offers general care for minor injuries, you can get professional help quickly, safely, and at a great price.

Most injuries in general are minor, or people can usually tell the difference between an injury that is minor, and an injury that is very serious. Having a care center that specializes in taking care of minor injuries such as small cuts, scrapes, sprains, and other relatively temporary injuries is the best way to go.

If you have a small cut, then getting it cleaned and properly treated is a very quick and easy process. If the cut appears to be a large enough wound for stitches, you should seek medical help for this as soon as possible because stitches can only be applied to wounds up to 8-12 hours after the cut has been made. The best way to treat any abrasion of the skin is to just keep it clean by washing it regularly and keeping it covered up away from germs to avoid infection.

Many adults and kids alike often receive some type of sprain from doing average, daily exercise. It is very easy to trip over something and sprain your ankle. Even though sprains aren’t considered major medical emergency, they still can cause problems down the road if mistreated. Your local general medical care provider can be sure to tell you what type of sprain you have, and will tell you all the steps needed for a full recovery.

The reason a medical center that specializes in helping people with minor emergencies and common sicknesses can save you time and money has a lot to do with multiple things. They are better staffed than a hospital because the clinic itself is not too big. They can charge less because they do not have the overhead a hospital or large doctors office might have. And they can save you a lot of time because they are typically not overcrowded and do not prioritize your injuries. This makes it the best choice for any minor injury emergency for any family.