Mistake #3: Reluctance to talk to doctors about problems

The Problem:

Seniors are frequently reluctant to talk with doctors about “embarrassing” problems such as elimination or sexual issues. Sometimes seniors fear that if they tell their doctors about all their health problems, they will be put into a nursing facility.  Older adults are often very reluctant to mention their symptoms of depression, assuming it is normal to feel down in older age.

The Solution:

Seniors need to understand that their physicians need to know about all their problems, symptoms and concerns.  If seniors realize that all body systems are connected and that many conditions and medications cause overlapping symptoms, they may be more inclined to share information with their doctors.  In fact, failing to “come clean” with all their problems makes them more and not less likely to be hospitalized or institutionalized.  If seniors are unable to convey all their concerns and symptoms to their physician, they may need an advocate, either a family member or a professional Health Care Advocate to assist them in their medical appointments.