As we age, out health needs increase. We would like to work alongside you to help you maintain your independence. You will have the ability to see the same GP and nurse team each visit if you choose, allowing us to build a relationship and share a health journey together with you.
Medications and medical care
We will encourage you to keep up to date with vaccinations and contact you when it is time for your Flu shot. Please come and see us regularly for checkups and keep your medications up to date. Come and see us as soon as possible if you have falls, memory loss, incontinence, difficulty walking, anxiety or depression, painful joints, change in your bowel habit, pains in your chest, indigestion or breathing problems – or any other health issue that you feel is affecting the quality of your life.
Regular reviews of your medications and prescriptions are important. As people age there is often an increase in the number of medications they may use. Using too many medications can increase risk of falls, or the action of the medication can change as the body ages. We may even ask you to bring all of your medicines, including over the counter or alternative medicines, to a consultation for us to check.
Your social life and senses
When you visit us we may like to know about your family (including extended family), home circumstances, activities and social support. We might ask you questions about your social life and friends, who checks in on you, or about your mental health.
Mentally stimulating activities may reduce the risk of cognitive decline and a diverse range of activities is recommended to maintain brain health. We encourage you to engage with the support provided by family, friends or community groups, this support is associated with good health and wellbeing at any age.
We would like to check in with you about your senses, such as hearing aids and vision tests or your balance and mobility. We can undertake driver’s license assessments and can connect you with any medical or health support providers you may need. This can include people like nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, pharmacists, speech language therapists, dietitians, and social workers.
What’s good for your heart, is good for your head
Improved brain health can help slow age-related cognitive decline. We can help you to maintain a healthy lifestyle, remain socially and mentally active, and to manage any health challenges. Improved brain health and cognitive function can reduce the risk of dementia onset in some people.
People who are physically active are more likely to have good brain health. We recommend you undertake at least 2.5 hours of moderate activity each week, like brisk walking, swimming, aqua jogging, playing social games/sports, gardening, vacuuming, or mowing the lawn. Social activities that involve exercise with other people will help you to stick to your exercise routine and will help you to keep up this healthy behavior later in life.
We will talk with you about your diet, food choices and alcohol intake. A healthy diet helps to prevent conditions that are known risk factors for cognitive decline, such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.
We can help with information about different diets and how they relate to your health goals. For the most part, a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, nuts, olive oil is an example of what could help improve brain health and reduce the risk of dementia. Please talk with us about Vitamin D supplementation.
Falls are the leading cause of injury to older people. Approximately one-third of people aged over 65 years fall each year and the likelihood of falling increases with advancing age (each year one in every two people aged over 80 years will fall). A fall can result in a major loss of independence.
We would like to discuss falls, and fall prevention, with you and your family. This can look like us asking you some screening questions then undertaking some observations and strength and balance tests. If we feel that you are at risk, we would like to work with you to make a plan to minimize the risk. Such a plan may look like home safety checks, exercise to enhance your balance and strength, following up or referral, social support, and more – we will involve you in every step.
Planning for the future
We would like to help you plan your future health care. This will help you prepare for what the future might hold. It also helps your family/whānau and health providers know what health care you want or don’t want. The steps involve thinking about, talking about, planning for, sharing and reviewing the plan in an ongoing process.
A plan can include who could provide assistance or care in your home or when residential care might be considered. Advanced care planning is entirely voluntary, when and how much we cover in our conversations is determined by you. We will make sure you have enough information and knowledge so you can take part in the decision making. The plan is a written record that includes your wishes, preferences, values and goals relevant to your current and future medical care, that has been written after discussion with your family and health providers.