Importance of Documenting Medical History

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My Care Finders

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Posted on

Jun 20, 2024

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Florida - Sarasota, Bradenton & Charlotte Counties

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The US National Council On Aging reports that 95 percent of senior Americans over 65 live with at least one chronic condition. The percentage of older adults with two or more chronic medical conditions comes in at 80 percent, and the number of conditions that an individual experiences tends to increase as they age. As they grow older, senior citizens may find it very difficult to keep track of their comprehensive medical history, any complications, and daily medications. Maintaining detailed records of past and present medical issues is one of the most effective ways to guarantee ongoing health success.

The Significance of  Tracking Medical History

A medical history doesn’t only track illnesses or diagnoses from years gone by. It encompasses all facets of an individual’s health journey, including pharmaceutical medications, hereditary predispositions and carrier status, and minor conditions that might become problematic in the future. Maintaining documentation from all physician and hospital visits documents allows for more informed and safer medical decisions in the future.

Medications and Prescriptions – Many senior adults, especially those living with dementia or other memory issues, fail to consistently take daily required medications, with more complications becoming evident as new treatments and doses are introduced. Keeping a full roster of which prescription drugs you take, those you took in the past but no longer take, and any complications you experienced gives doctors and medical professionals the insight they need to recommend new medications that don’t result in unwanted side effects or dangerous contraindications.

Genetic Diseases and Family History – Knowing and documenting a personal medical history does more than just assist a personal health journey. An accurate and comprehensive medical history gives children and grandchildren a framework to better understand what medical conditions they may be predisposed to, and any genetic diseases they might be carriers for.

Even if an individual doesn’t currently live with a specific condition, a family predisposition might cause these conditions to appear in their family. When physicians are performing tests and attempting to identify conditions based on their symptoms, the collected data is invaluable for rapidly narrowing down the possible pool of diagnoses – as well as providing your family the help they need as soon as possible.

More Targeted Care – While healthcare professionals strive to provide each of their patients with individualized care, you understand your own health better than anyone else. Especially when you go to a new physician for care or are admitted to the hospital due to health concerns, being familiar with your complete medical history allows you to ask relevant questions and expedite the process of getting the treatment you need. If all of your medical history is amassed and preserved as written documents, you can also have more confidence in your healthcare professional to represent your best interests if you are incapacitated. You can then idenitfy those close family members you trust to make decisions on your behalf based on your medical history.

How To Create a Personal Medical History

Now that you know more about the criticality of keeping and understanding your medical history, you should learn how to actually collect all the required data.

Typically you can request this information from physicians and hospitals via paper forms or online customer service portals. For more in-depth information, like unrecorded family medical history, you can contact extended family members such as cousins or siblings, in order to gain a more holistic view of your family’s health issues. Often, this information is invaluable for younger family members when they have hard-to-diagnose health situations.

At My Care Finders, we are dedicated to finding the best senior living solution for you or your loved one. A medical history is just one of many ways we help you to narrow down the possibilities and make the very best choices for your situation.

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