Many people do not like going to the doctor. That is a fact of life. The majority of those people probably don't like to go because they fear hearing bad news or being told by their doctor that they are going to have to change something in how they are living. And God knows we do not like being told how to live. Especially if it involves giving up something that we have decided that we can't live without. But going to the doctor is a necessary evil that unfortunately is a part of our lives and we need to make annual visits to them to make sure that everything is in order.
Despite the apprehension that some may feel, according to the 2012 report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 342,000 people visit their general practitioner on a given day in Australia. Over a year's time that works out to roughly 124,000,000 or approximately 18% of Australia's 693,000,000 residents which is not bad depending on how you look at it.
Although these figures may be alright for the general population one thing we must bear in mind as we age is the fact that there are certain age specific illnesses and conditions that we must be on the lookout for and early detection is critical to mounting an effective treatment. Some of these conditions give no warning signs until it is too late so proper testing and screening done regularly is needed to catch them in the early stages.
In that light let's see why your relationship with your GP matters as we grow older.
Immune System Weakens
As we age our immune system weakens. This comes naturally with aging as our metabolism slows down and our bodies go through more wear and tear. As a result this makes us more prone to contracting something that at a younger age would not have affected us or affected us as drastically. Our cells are not reproducing as rapidly as they did when we were younger and we must take this into account as we get older. Regular visits to the doctor will give you the opportunity to discover any unusual immune system deficiency.
Recovery More Difficult
When we contract an illness at any age it weakens our body and causes it to have to work harder to recover from the affliction. As we age that process becomes more difficult and puts more strain on the body which increases the time it takes for our bodies to recover. Going through this process over a lifetime wears on the body in a way that we don't see as visibly when we are young and strong but as time passes we begin to clearly see the effects. An extended recovery period may signal its time for a doctor visit to see if you are suffering from something that is more serious than you thought.
Older adults who become ill face a greater risk of a domino effect taking place in that when our bodies are attacked and weakened in one area the strain that comes with that sickness and the body's attempt to fight it can weaken another part of the body and then cause an ongoing sequence of complications. This spiral among the aged is commonly what causes an extended period of illness.
New diseases are found all the time and it is important to be up-to-date on what may have been discovered so preventative action or treatment can be initiated. And just like new diseases are discovered, new treatments are developed as well. Regular trips to your physician will keep you aware of any recent discoveries in the medical world.
In a recent study The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports older Australians are healthier and living longer than those from previous generations. In that study it states that the number of Australians who are 65 years old and older has tripled over the last 50 years. This is good news that should only get better as health technology improves and the population of the country takes better care of itself.
For information on how Aged Care Channel can help you with your care organisation's needs please contact us.