Medical prevention, regular checkups, and prompt treatment play a key role in your quality of life as you age.
Your grandparents' generation had few protections from life-threatening conditions, but you now have the advantage of immunizations and regular screenings. Screenings and immunizations may help you live a longer, higher-quality life. But there comes a time when some screening tests won't be helpful, so talk to your doctor about which tests to have.
To learn more about recommended health screenings, see the topic Health Screening: Finding Health Problems Early.
For more information, see the Interactive Tool: Which Health Screenings Do You Need?
Managing your health care
Be an informed health care consumer. When you are concerned about a medical condition, read as much as you can about it and its possible treatments. Make a list of unanswered questions and talk to your doctor about them. Explore all treatment options before deciding how to treat a problem. And get at least one second opinion if you're considering a surgery, medicine with dangerous side effects, or experimental treatment.
For more information, see:
Be your own best health advocate. Make it your goal to work in partnership with your doctors. In general, people who make health decisions with their doctors are happier with the care they receive and the results they achieve. It's important to share in every decision about your health. The decisions you make influence your overall well-being as well as the quality and cost of your care. Whenever you have a medical appointment:
- Bring your health and medicine history with you, as well as a list of questions you want answered during your appointment.
- Make sure you understand your doctor's key points about your health and any possible tests and treatments.
- You can bring along a friend or family member to support you and help you remember key information for later on. This can be especially useful when you're under a lot of physical or emotional stress.
For more information about how to work in partnership with a doctor, see: