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Quarterbacking your healthcare; Program helps people maximize doctor visits

By Brita Moore

newsroom@austindailyherald.com

Self-care is crucial as people age.

While it’s often easy to assume doctors will know how to take care of patients best, but without knowing their patients’ own concerns, he or she will not be able to provide you the best care.

That’s some of the advice offered by Jerry Rosenblad of the Humana health insurance company during a presentation at the Mower County Senior Center Thursday. He addressed how seniors can get the most out of their doctor visits.

“Your primary doctor is like the quarterback of your healthcare,” Rosenblad said. “It’s important to trust and get along with them.”

Rosenblad’s talk was part of Humana’s initiative to give back to communities. He is an agent for southeastern Minnesota and focuses on products for people on Medicare.

A group of people listen to Jerry Roseblad of Humana Health Insurance as he gives a seminar on getting the most out of a doctor’s visit Thursday at the Mower County Senior Center.

A group of people listen to Jerry Roseblad of Humana Health Insurance as he gives a seminar on getting the most out of a doctor’s visit Thursday at the Mower County Senior Center.

To help your doctor take care of you, Rosenblad suggested in the presentation to spend some time preparing for the visit. He encouraged to bring a list of all medications you’re taking, including over-the-counter medications, and any allergies you’re aware of. Keep your routine screenings up-to-date and track the results, so you don’t miss any problem areas. Rosenblad also recommended discussing your family medical history, so your doctor is aware of any potential risks you may face as you age.

Secondly, it’s important to keep track of health questions. Write them down if needed, then ask them. That way, the doctor will know what he or she needs to look into.

If taking medications, ask questions about those as well, especially about risks and side effects. After the visit, don’t hesitate to call that doctor if more questions come up.

“That’s what they’re there for,” Rosenblad said.

Lastly, always follow the doctor’s instructions. Whether that means simply drinking more water or finishing all of your prescription medication, be sure to do so. If he or she recommends a follow-up visit, keep the appointment.

With these tips in mind, you will be able to help your doctor help you, and you’ll take better care of yourself too.