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Managing Multiple Health Conditions Part II

As previously shared, it is common for adults over the age of 65 to be living with more than one health problem, known as comorbidity.  Because of this, there are actions that one needs to be aware of as a patient and/or as a caregiver.  Here are some ways you can be involved in taking care of multiple health conditions, whether you are the patient or a caregiver.

    1. Write down information. Often times caring for multiple health conditions requires multiple instructions for medications, diet, fluids, etc.  It is important to write any steps down that your healthcare provider tells you and post them in a place you will read.
    2. Ask Questions. If you are unsure of what someone is explaining to you about your health and/or caring for your health, make sure to ask questions.  Don’t assume something, as this could be harmful.
    3. Ask about risks and benefits of treatment. In addition to asking clarifying questions, make sure you as the patient or caregiver are aware of the possible risks to treatment being given and what the expected benefits are.  This can help keep you on track with evaluating your treatment progress.
    4. Let your healthcare provider know of concerns. If you are having side effects, new symptoms or complications it is important to notify your healthcare team immediately.  Changes cannot be made if they are not informed, and the sooner the better, to avoid any harm done.
    5. Include the whole healthcare team in treatment decisions. Make sure all parts of your treatment team are aware of current treatment, medications, etc.  Often care can become complicated and if many parties are involved, information can get lost.  Take it upon yourself to keep the healthcare team informed.

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