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Healthy Aging - Getting the Medical Care You Need

Managing your health care continued...

Get organized. Feeling organized and in control of your health care can be a challenge, especially when something comes up unexpectedly. Your best approach to managing your health care is to get organized now—create a personal medical information file, including an ongoing record of your:

  • Health professionals' names and numbers.
  • Medicines, herbal supplements, and vitamins. For each, include the dosage, who prescribed it and why, and any side effects you have had. Use this form.(What is a PDF document?)
  • Known allergies to medicines, foods, or insects (include the type of allergic reaction).
  • Immunization record.
  • Symptoms, health conditions, and treatments. For each, jot down dates and any details that you might easily forget. Use this form(What is a PDF document?).
  • Exam and test results.
  • Emergency medical information, such as pacemaker use or chronic disease diagnosis.
  • Insurance policy and payment receipts.

For more information on how to organize your medical information, see the topic Organizing Your Medical Records.

Advance directives such as a living will and a medical power of attorney can ensure that you will get the care you want if you become physically or mentally unable to make your own medical decisions. A living will states your wishes about your medical care. A medical power of attorney gives a person you choose (your health care agent) the authority to make medical decisions for you if you become unable to make these decisions for yourself. In addition to putting your advance directives in writing, also be sure to clearly communicate your choices to all family members who might be involved in your health care in the future.

For more information, see:

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 24, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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