Well-Woman is the New Physical

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​​​Remember back-to-school physicals? How could you forget, right? That annual visit to the doc to ensure that all was right in your world before another year of school began. They weren't exactly a trip to Disneyworld, but if you were lucky you might get an ice cream cone or special treat afterwards. And many of us (okay, maybe only the budding self-diagnosers among us) just felt better knowing that we had a clean bill of health.

If you ever long for the days when a doctor gave you her undivided attention just to talk about you and your health, then the well-women visit is for you.

Well-woman visits are covered once-a-year for every woman up to age 65 (when Medicare kicks in) under the Affordable Care Act, and they're a great opportunity to talk about any health issue that might be concerning you, including:

  • - Alcohol or tobacco use
  • - Cholesterol
  • - Blood pressure
  • - Depression
  • - Diet counseling
  • - Colorectal cancer screening (for adults over 50)
  • - Diabetes screening
  • - Adult immunizations
  • - And more

  • When you're preparing for your well-woman visit, it's important to remember that you can be the one leading the visit, not your doctor. Yes, she will need to run down the list of the usual suspects (just like those back-to-school visits), but this is your moment to ask her about what's on your mind, whether it's stress, mood swings, weight gain, memory issues or anything else. That's probably why they stopped calling it a physical – because it's as much about having a two-way conversation as it is about an examination.

Also, don't be surprised if your well-woman visit begets a series of other visits. Since they're meant to be all about prevention, your provider might call for more screenings or provide referrals. This might sound like a huge potential time commitment, but most would agree that it's well worth it to keep from getting sick.

For more information about taking care of yourself so that you can better care for others, please contact Home Instead of Central Oregon at 541-330-6400. ​​


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