Dealing with multiple medical conditions
A medical condition that lasts more than a year and requires continued treatment is considered chronic. Dealing with a chronic health issue becomes even more challenging when a person has multiple chronic conditions. The United States Department of Health and Human Services estimates that about two-thirds of older adults are dealing with two or more chronic conditions.
Most health care systems are set up to provide care for a single disease. If a person has heart disease, he might see a cardiologist who focuses on just heart issues. But if the same person also has diabetes, he might also see an endocrinologist who treats just that issue. Since each specialist is looking at a single condition, there is a possibility for confusion. A medication prescribed by one doctor may interact negatively with a medication prescribed by a different specialist. Therapy assigned by one doctor may cause issues for another condition. Ideally, care will be coordinated between doctors but this does not always happen. The key is to take an active role in your care.
Here are five strategies to help be an active participant in your care.
Be an informed patient
You should never take a medication without understanding what it is, why you take it and whether it will interact with other medications. When you are with your doctor, ask about treatment options and possible outcomes. The important thing is to learn what you can do to help manage your health.
Consider benefits versus risks
There may be multiple ways to treat a condition. Sometimes the most aggressive treatment has too many risks to be the best choice. Talk with your doctor about your multiple medical issues to help him understand your concerns. It is important to help your doctor to see treatment in the context of all your chronic conditions.
If a treatment is not working, the doctor needs to be notified. Not all medications work the same way in every person and multiple medications can interact with each other. Instead of suffering unpleasant side effects, contact the doctor for advice. Unless you tell the doctor that you are having a problem, he won’t know that a change is needed.
Get complete directions
Before you leave your doctor’s office, you should understand exactly what you need to do. Most doctors will write down instructions when asked. Find out if the new medication can be taken at the same time as your current medications. Ask about eating before or after medications. If the instructions are too complicated, share this confusion with your doctor so he can find you assistance.
Share your concerns
Talk to your doctor about treatment outcomes and your life plans. If living independently is important, then the doctor may provide a less aggressive treatment with fewer side effects. If a treatment option carries a risk of developing a new health condition or accelerating another existing condition, it is important to consider that before having the procedure. If you would rather not take another medication, see if there is an alternative treatment like physical therapy that can treat the problem. Be an active part of your care team for a winning outcome.
Managing multiple medical conditions can become even more difficult following an operation or a new medical event. Trying to coordinate a complicated treatment plan along with regular management of chronic conditions can be overwhelming and possibly dangerous if instructions aren’t properly followed. This is why many people with multiple chronic conditions choose to recover in a short-term care facility where there is an experienced team of professionals ready to address each need.
Finding the best care
One of the preferred choices for recovery is Glenview Terrace where individualized care is offered in a comfortable environment. Glenview Terrace delivers outstanding services and clinical outcomes, making it one of the top choices on the North Shore and the recipient of Medicare’s highest five-star quality rating.
While recovering at Glenview Terrace, each guest receives personalized care to fit their needs from a caring staff. You can be assured that medications are delivered in a timely manner. One-on-one physical, occupational and speech therapy are offered up to seven times a week—with three rehabilitation gyms to choose from. What’s more, compassionate staff offer the encouragement and positive reinforcement needed to move you toward your goals.
Using expert care and sophisticated techniques, Glenview Terrace offers an aggressive blend of traditional and advanced rehabilitation services to address a full range of conditions. It has the tools and equipment on site to meet specific needs including video fluoroscopy, Doppler studies and X-rays. The professional staff can deliver expert pain management, respiratory and intravenous therapies while carefully managing existing conditions. Instead of hoping that you are doing everything correctly, you can rest easy knowing that your care is top-notch.
Glenview Terrace delivers this care in an elegant setting that begins with beautifully landscaped grounds and continues into the spacious, well-appointed rooms. Guests can enjoy nutritious meals served in elegant dining areas or in their rooms. Guests can also choose to relax in their rooms with a wide array of amenities and services to pamper them, including attentive concierge service.
When you have multiple chronic conditions, choose to recover at Glenview Terrace where the needs of the entire patient are addressed. For additional information or to arrange a tour, visit glenviewterrace.com or call 847-729-9090.Back