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When entering retirement, taking steps to maintain a healthy lifestyle is a top priority. Nothing diminishes fun and relaxation like dealing with the red-tape of health care systems and illness. Routine check-ups and preventative measures can help seniors stay healthy, which can also make retirement a much more enjoyable experience. A great way to ensure your health is valued as much as you value it, is to find the best primary care physician for you and your needs. There are many ways to be confident in your selection, but here are a few tips to aid your search.
Find a Doctor Covered by Insurance and in a Prime Location
The first items on your checklist should be the most basic. Knowing that you can only select from physicians covered by your insurance and those who are located conveniently will narrow your search from the beginning. This will make finding the rest of your “must-haves” much easier in the long run and you won’t have to worry about finding everything you want in a physician, only to find they aren’t covered by your insurance. So save your time utilizing your insurer’s website and find physicians you know will be covered and won’t exhaust you in traveling to see them.
Find a Doctor Who Provides Special Care
You know your health needs better than anyone. Perhaps your circumstances mean you are looking for a specialist. A geriatrician, for example, is a doctor specializing in care for older patients. Not every senior needs to see this doctor, but those who experience significant age-related medical concerns, have multiple diseases, and/or disabilities may want to consider this doctor as an option.
Another option to consider is whether the doctor makes house calls. Some may remember the house-call practice of doctors from their younger years, and how it disappeared as we came into the 21st century. The good news is that for seniors, this practice appears to be making a come-back, there’s also the option to use telemedicine which is when doctor’s appointments are held through video chats.
Find a Doctor with Positive Reviews and Recommendations
Websites like HealthGrades and WebMD let patients rate the doctors they’ve seen. While this doesn’t paint the whole picture of what the doctor offers, it’s a good idea to gauge what others have experienced. Of course, this isn’t limited to the internet. Ask around for recommendations from friends and loved-ones, knowing they have your best interest in mind can help make the process a lot less stressful.
Find a Doctor Who is Receptive to Questions
Some suggest having questions prepared when first meeting with your doctor:
- Who will I see if you are not available?
- How are after-hours appointments or phone calls handled?
- What services do you offer at the clinic? Will I have to go elsewhere for labs or x-rays?
These types of questions can give you necessary information about the fit of this physician to your needs, but also pay attention to how they handle answering questions. There are some doctors that don’t care to answer questions and want to get through as many patients as possible while disregarding quality of care. A good doctor will exercise patience and empathy. You should be the center of their concern during the visit, and they should expect questions and answer them in a way you understand without making you feel uncomfortable or unintelligent.
Find a Doctor Who Makes You Comfortable
While understanding medical jargon and overall bureaucracy can be difficult, you know how you feel better than anyone else. Sometimes a gut feeling is all you need to know when a doctor relationship won’t work for you. Be sure that the space, the employees, and the doctor themselves make you feel most comfortable, especially since you’ll be sharing your intimate information with them.
Getting started in the search for a primary care provider can feel overwhelming at first. But taking it a step at a time and getting a check-list of what you want can help break down the process. Finding the perfect fit can help secure a healthy and relaxing retirement. Even so, retirement often brings with it many unexpected healthcare situations and seniors may find themselves in such a predicament without the financial liquidity to make choices in their best interest. However, there are ways to gain this extra income and find security in retirement. For example, life settlements. Did you know If you still maintain a life insurance policy, you can sell all or a portion of your policy for an amount greater than the cash surrender value? This is known as a life settlement and can provide the stability you crave. Contact Life Settlement Advisors to learn more.
John built a very successful business over the years but his health paid the price. John’s wife convinced him to sell the family business and enjoy retirement. John had a term life insurance policy through the business he no longer needed so at the advice of his financial advisor, he sold the policy for $225,000.
Download our resource, How to Plan for Healthcare Costs in Retirement, for more information on common age-related health issues, their costs, and how you can pay for the care you need.