“Ask not what your doctor can do for you, ask what you can do for your doctor and yourself” (with gratitude to President John F. Kennedy)
There will never be enough geriatricians – doctors (like me) who are specially trained to treat older people – to care for our rapidly aging population. Likewise, there will likely never be enough internists or family practitioners with similar knowledge to care for older adults the way they should be cared for and they way they deserve to be treated.
What to do about this? Older adults need to take things into their own hands by watching out for themselves. And family and friends need to keep an eye on their older loved ones too.
That’s where this Senior Self-Assessment comes in. I developed it to help you to help yourself. I hope you, your family, and friends look through it and learn from it. Complete the enclosed forms, assessments, and checklists. Most importantly, print it out and bring it to your primary care doctor on your next visit. You and your doctor will both now have better information to address your most important health care needs – the ones that affect your enjoyment of life and your ability to function in the world. And you will feel more secure and confident that you are doing everything you can to make your life everything it can be.
I hope this is just the start of a grassroots geriatrics effort that will result in healthier, happier, and more functional older people. Spread the word by talking with others about it. E-mail me to let me know what YOU think and where we can go from here.
You have A LOT to expect at your age! Don’t let it slip by.
Dr. Rob Stall