As an older adult, you are likely highly familiar with the typical physical exam that you may have gotten from your primary care physician. However, if it is recommended that you get a comprehensive health exam, you may be surprised at just how different this evaluation of your health is compared to a typical physical exam. These exams are often prescribed for older individuals to better understand what their health needs will be as they grow older. Take a look at some of the things to expect during a comprehensive health exam as an elderly patient.
Expect a thorough review of your medical records.
During the exam, the practitioner will be looking at any and all medical records that are available from prior medical care experiences. This information provides a snapshot look into what kind of medical problems you have had in the past, what kinds of tests have already been performed, and any diagnoses that you have already received. The practitioner doing the exam may look at your medical records a bit prior to your appointment, but they will likely bring up your records during the actual assessment to discuss and ask questions.
Expect there to be questions regarding your family situation.
There are a lot of factors that will come into play as you age as far as your living circumstances are concerned and how that can affect your need for certain levels of care. Therefore, the comprehensive medical exam will likely involve a lot of questions about your family and your living situation. You may be asked things like:
- Whether or not you are living with a spouse or partner
- If you have adult children or relatives who visit you often
- How comfortable you are with the idea of things like in-home care
Expect an assessment of typical behaviors that may affect your health.
One big thing that affects your overall health as an elderly individual is how you live your life on an everyday basis. the practitioner performing the exam will likely ask you questions about things like how often you go out of the house, what you like to eat or drink daily, and how much sleep you usually get at night when you go to sleep. You may even be asked about how much time you spend watching television, driving, or talking on the phone. Understanding your usual life habits will help the practitioner gauge how much of a risk it is that certain health issues come along in the future.