Get the Most from Your Doctor with Communication

Going to the doctor and getting lab work is essential for people over age 40. Thorough communication with your doctor will help you get the most from your health care. Don't avoid being proactive with your health and plan for future declining health and aging.

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Get the Most from Your Doctor with Communication
6 Min Read February 3rd, 2017 Updated:February 14th, 2022

Have you been to the doctor recently? If you are over age 40, you should have your annual check-up and be sure your doctor orders a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP). Some people don't like going to the doctor, and others might not like getting lab work; however, these are just some of the things your doctor would urge you to do for better overall health and well-being.

You want to get the most from your doctor's appointments, but it's hard to bring up sensitive issues or remember all the questions you've been storing up. 

When you are young, this generally isn't a problem. However, as we get past age 40, we start having more health issues. Some people might be embarrassed about some of the health problems they are experiencing, so they don't talk to their doctor about these issues.

Why Go to the Doctor if You Feel Fine?

Other people say they feel great, so why go to the doctor. Many health problems have no apparent symptoms yet can be diagnosed and treated correctly after a complete examination.

Health issues increase when we are in our 50's, which is why sometimes you will hear the term "fragile 50's". Once you reach your 50s, you start having chronic health problems that need to be addressed. 

Your health and body have changed in the past twenty years, but you will face significant changes in your health, body, and mind in the next twenty or more.

Dealing with health problems early allows for better outcomes. 

Are You Seeing Your Doctor Regularly?

Ignoring regular check-ups is not in your best interest. It would be best to start having regular health check-ups by age 40. By age 50, it should be part of your routine every year. 

Both men and women in their 40s should have blood work to determine blood glucose and check for pre-diabetes. Men should be concerned about blood pressure and their prostate. Women should be concerned about endometriosis, fibroids, irregular bleeding, heavy periods, and peri-menopausal symptoms.

When you see your doctor be sure to have a conversation and exchange information; engaging with your doctor will help you maintain good health and well-being. Your doctor can't read your mind, and they won't know your concerns or issues unless you tell them.

Here are nine tips from doctors themselves to encourage you to get the most out of every visit.

Don't Avoid the Doctor

Don't avoid your doctor. Too many people put off seeing the doctor until it's too late. Avoiding the doctor does not prevent you from becoming ill or getting older. You might think that statement is funny, yet some people feel that if they feel fine, going to the doctor will jinx their good health!

Today's medical practices are doing their best to improve the experience. Experts say that a positive patient-physician relationship and improving communication between the patient and the doctor and their staff make for a better experience. Either way, avoiding the doctor is not in your best interest. 

Share Family Medical History

Your doctor should be aware of your family history. In order to share this history, you need to know it. Ask family members while they are still alive if you don't know family medical history. 

Families have many things in common, including their genes, environment, and lifestyle. Some conditions tend to run in families. Your doctor can be on the lookout for health issues that you may be more prone to suffer from in the future. Being proactive will maintain your health and help your doctor keep you healthy.

This family history tool from the American Medical Association can help you in the process of putting together your family history.

Are You Prepared for the Costs and Burdens of Aging?

Too many people also want to ignore the financial costs and burdens of aging. People require long-term care services when they face an extended illness, an accident, or just the consequences of longevity. 

Being a caregiver, especially for a loved one, places a physical, emotional, and financial burden on them. This stress has an impact on everyone involved. If you think your spouse or kids will provide your care in the decades ahead, you better think again. Remember, family caregivers are usually untrained and unprepared for the role that is demanding physically and emotionally.

Long-Term Care Has Consequences on Family and Finances

Paid professional care can quickly be a financial drain on your income and assets. It changes your lifestyle and can change your legacy. The fact is that long-term care services are expensive, so you better have a better solution in place before you get older and your health declines.

The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator can help you discover the current and future cost of care services where you live.

For many American families, affordable Long-Term Care Insurance is an easy solution. A Long-Term Care Insurance policy is a solution helping you maintain control and independence. 

You get to maintain control of your life. Your loved ones will have the time to be family instead of caregivers. The amount of stress diminishes for everyone. Your hard-earned savings will not be reduced or disappear altogether. 

Plus, you will have access to your choice of quality care options, including in-home care. 

Research Long-Term Care Insurance Planning

LTC NEWS offers many research tools to help you learn your options and plan for your future

You might love your financial advisor but don't depend on them for long-term care planning. Most insurance agents and financial advisors are not experts in long-term care, and they lack the knowledge they should have to help you plan appropriately.

Several items make a specialist a specialist, including:

  • Substantial experience with Long-Term Care Insurance, including traditional (including Partnership), hybrid, and short-term plans that offer practical solutions.
  • Underwriting. Every insurance company has its own underwriting criteria. Matching your age and health with the right company is essential.
  • Understanding how Long-Term Care Insurance gets used at the time of claim. Many non-specialists recommend benefit levels that are usually more than most people need.
  • Processing claims—specialists process claims with firsthand knowledge of the process where non-specialists often have never processed a claim.
  • Specialists work with the major companies, whereas non-specialists often work with just one or two.

Find a Qualified Specialist

Find a trusted Long-Term Care Insurance specialist. Don't put off the doctor, and don't ignore longevity. 

Find the Right Doctor

If you are ready to start being proactive with your health, you need to find the right doctor. Here are a few tips:

  • Check your health insurance company. Typically every insurance company publishes a directory, or you can search doctors on its website.
  • Consider hospital affiliation. Your choice of doctor can determine which hospital you may have to go to if you need to go to the hospital. However, many hospitals now use "hospitalists" that specialize in the care of patients in the hospital. These "hospitalists" work with your doctor, who will normally not visit you when you are there.
  • Look for board certification.
  • You can choose a male or female doctor if that makes you more comfortable.
  • In most cases, you can interview a doctor before deciding to make them your primary physician. 
  • If you are not happy with your doctor - change doctors!

Now, go make that appointment for a check-up.

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About the Author

An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

LTC News Contributor James Kelly

James Kelly

Contributor since August 21st, 2017

Editor's Note

Being prepared for declining health and the consequences of aging should be a crucial part of your overall retirement plan. People need long-term care services due to an illness, accident, or the impact of aging. Health insurance and Medicare (including supplements) will not pay for most of these costs.

Family caregivers find it hard to juggle their careers and family responsibilities with that of a caregiver for an older parent. The burden is something most people have said in surveys that they don't want to place on their family.

The solution is affordable Long-Term Care Insurance. LTC Insurance provides guaranteed tax-free benefits to access your choice of quality care options, including care at home. You will protect your income and assets and reduce the stress and anxiety otherwise placed on loved ones.

Planning Tools and Resources on LTC NEWS

You can find many tools and resources on LTC NEWS to assist you in your research for a planning solution or help your family find the appropriate care for a loved one at the time of crisis. 

To help you plan the costs and burdens of changing health and aging, LTC NEWS has put in place several resources, including:

Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.

Seek Professional Guidance

Insurance rates are regulated, so no insurance agent, agency, or financial advisor can give you special deals. However, insurance companies' premiums vary over 100% for the same coverage.

Experts suggest using a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you navigate the many options available to you and your family.

A specialist who works with the top companies can match your age, health, family history, and other factors and find you the best coverage at the best value. A specialist will save you money, and you will have peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.

Finding Quality Care for Mom or Dad

Start by reading our guides -  

If they are lucky enough to own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, be sure they use it. Sometimes families wait, thinking they can save the benefits for a rainy day. Waiting on using available Long-Term Care Insurance benefits is not a wise idea. 

Get Help in Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim

Quality care obtained early will help provide a better quality of life and reduce the risk of a deep decline and facility care. If you need help in starting the process of a Long-Term Care Insurance claim, LTC NEWS can help.

LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation to help you or a loved one complete the claims process with a Long-Term Care Insurance policy. We have teamed up with Amada Senior Care, who will do all the work, free with no obligation. 

You can also get support in finding quality caregivers and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy or not. - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News

Benefits of Reverse Mortgages 

Today's reverse mortgages for those aged 62 and older could be an ideal resource to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy OR even provide money to pay for care if you, or a loved one, already needs help and assistance.  

Some people have much of their savings invested in their homes. With today's reverse mortgages, you can find ways to fund care solutions, care itself, even help with cash flow during your retirement. 

Learn more by asking questions to an expert. LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew" will answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages. 

- Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.

Share Your Knowledge - Be A Guest Contributor for LTC NEWS 

LTC NEWS is open to contributors to share their stories with the world. 

You can write a story or ongoing column for LTC NEWS. You can write about many topics, including aging, caregiving, health, lifestyle, retirement planning, and long-term care, to name a few.

Be sure to write for our core target audience of adults aged 40 and older. Our audience is worldwide; however, our primary target is the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other English-speaking nations. 

Improve your website or blog's SEO and gain exposure and traffic at the same time by being a contributor to LTC NEWS. 

You can even promote yourself, your business, and your website or blog. However, it must have editorial content exclusive to LTC NEWS and not just an advertisement. It can include links to other sites, and you can share the article link once published on your website or social media.

Email your story idea or article: - LTC News Contributors | LTC News

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Use LTC NEWS to drive traffic to your website and help you attract people interested in your products and services. Plus, you can improve your website's SEO so more consumers can find you when they search for your products and services.

There are various marketing options available with LTC NEWS. Traditional advertising, sponsored content articles, strategic alliances, and more are available. 

Learn more about how LTC NEWS can help you market your business, drive traffic, and improve SEO - Advertise With Us | LTC News.

Shared Links

LTC NEWS offers a 'helpful links' page so readers looking for additional information can find them easily. You can get a dofollow link to your website on LTC NEWS in exchange for a dofollow link on your site.

Let's work together and help consumers who search for us on the web - Site Request | LTC News.

You can also affordably purchase a dofollow link to your website or blog on LTC NEWS. Just contact the advertising department.

Sharing News with LTC NEWS 

Include LTC NEWS in your press release distribution. If your group, organization, business, political committee, etc., have news to share, send it to LTC NEWS. Email -  

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