Aging Healthy: Checking Our Physical Health and Healthcare Checkups

Our last post in the Aging Healthy series discussed the reasons to stop smoking, as well as limiting alcohol and other substances. In today’s post, we are going to discuss regular healthcare checkups and why they are important to healthy aging.

A smiling doctor holds up a checkup instrument while smiling outside a building. [credit:, eben kassaye]
[CREDIT:, Eben Kassaye]

Going to the doctor and having regular health screenings is important for healthy aging. You and your doctor work as a team, along with nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists and other healthcare providers. So, establishing a good patient-doctor relationship with regular checkups is important. Regular visits help doctors catch chronic diseases early, which can help reduce risk factors for many diseases, including high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. You should visit your doctor at least once a year; more, if your health warrants.

It’s also important to prepare for the appointment, so that you can have the doctor or their team address your concerns. It’s easy to set the appointment, visit the doctor and then, in the rush of the moment, become flustered or distracted and forget to bring up the reason you wanted to visit in the first place. Here are some general tips on how to prepare:

  • Make a list of what you want to discuss, and prioritize the list.
  • Take information with you, such as all your prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, supplements, etc.
  • Make sure to take your eyeglasses and, if you wear them, hearing aids. And, make sure each is in working order.
  • Consider bringing a family member or a close friend to the visit. Let the family member or friend know what you want to discuss with the doctor so that they can take notes, if needed, or help you remember what the doctor said.
a patient and doctor discuss medical conditions and options. [credit:, accuray]
[CREDIT:, Accuray]

Visiting your doctor regularly helps you reap the benefits of medical advancement through regular screenings that can uncover diseases and conditions. Don’t wait until you experience symptoms, because you might lose the chance for an early diagnosis.

The National Institute on Aging offers tips for making the most of your doctor’s appointment.

Next up, we will discuss healthy aging and our mental health. Visit the Aging Healthy blog series feed to find all current posts.


Maria Portelos-Rometo is a UF/IFAS Extension Agent at Sarasota County. She specializes in Family and Consumer Sciences.
Posted: May 2, 2024

Category: Health & Nutrition, Work & Life
Tags: Aging, Aging Healthy, AgingHealthy, Doctor, Health, Healthcare, Medical, Pgm_FCS, Senior

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