Family Doctors Keep You Healthy As You Age
Almost nine in 10 Australians over the age of 65 have at least one chronic illness, making their relationship with their family doctor a vital one, AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, said today.
On the final day of Family Doctor Week 2017, Dr Gannon said that the week’s theme, “Your Family Doctor: all about you”, was especially true of the role GPs played in the lives of older patients.
“Ageing is a normal part of life, and the great news is that there’s much you can do to enhance your wellbeing in later life, both physically and mentally,” Dr Gannon said.
“Your family doctor can help you to make good lifestyle choices that can significantly improve your quality of life in old age, whether it’s quitting smoking, staying active, moderating alcohol intake, eating properly, or keeping your brain active.
“Evidence shows that continuity of care with a regular GP helps lower rates of ill-health, particularly with chronic diseases, and helps keep people out of hospital.
“Your GP is also a key advocate as you get older, helping you to navigate a complex health system and to access services and support that help you maintain quality of life, whether you are living independently, with the support of a carer, or in a care facility.
“The relationship of trust between GP and patient is vital during difficult periods, including bereavement, or getting bad news about our health.
“When it comes time to have those difficult discussions about death and dying, including end of life options, your family doctor is there to listen to you, and help you put in place an advance care plan.
“Your family doctor can help ensure that your wishes are recognised in any decisions made on your behalf about your health care.”
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29 July 2017
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