Seniors have a tendency to fib about their health conditions during doctor visits. While there are many reasons to be reluctant about being totally honest with a doctor—often involving a desire to avoid a lecture about poor dietary, exercise, or lifestyle habits—withholding certain information from the physician can lead to unintended consequences. Here are a few of the most common lies seniors tell their doctors.
1. I Don’t Smoke
Smoking is associated with a negative image that many seniors don’t want their doctors to see. Cigarette smoking has serious side effects, and even an occasional indulgence can have health ramifications. Seniors who smoke need to be honest with their physicians about their smoking habits so they can be treated properly. It also alerts doctors to be on the lookout for the possibility of emphysema or lung cancer.
2. I Exercise Every Day
It’s not going to hurt the doctor’s feelings if your senior loved one admits to not following recommendations to get more exercise, and most physicians aren’t fooled by this common lie anyway. Exercise builds strong bones, strengthens the heart, and helps seniors lose weight. If a senior isn’t exercising because of injury, illness, or pain, it’s even more important to tell the doctor. A physician can conduct a thorough examination to determine the cause of the pain and offer ideas for alternative forms of physical activity that don’t cause pain.
3. I Can Hear Just Fine
Many seniors deny having difficulty hearing because they don’t want to wear hearing aids or they’re embarrassed by their hearing loss. However, certain types of hearing loss can be prevented or lessened if they’re identified early. Additionally, hearing loss can indicate other serious health issues and cause seniors to withdraw socially and become isolated and depressed. Hearing loss has also been associated with dementia, so it’s crucial for your parent to be honest with his or her doctor about it.
If your loved one has hearing loss linked to dementia, compassionate help is available. Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. Prescott families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life.
4. I Only Eat Healthy Foods
Eating healthy keeps seniors on the right track, but everyone slips occasionally. Many people have a difficult time eating a healthy diet, but for seniors with conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or type 2 diabetes, lying about eating habits can have serious consequences. Being honest about dietary habits allows doctors to fully assess health patterns in older adults. A physician may be able to refer your parent to a dietitian for assistance with meal preparation, especially if being a picky eater is part of the problem.
If your loved one needs help planning and preparing healthy meals, a professional caregiver can be a wonderful resource. The type of homecare seniors need can vary. Some need assistance a few hours a day, while others require more extensive around-the-clock assistance. At Home Care Assistance, we tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual care needs, and the plans can be adjusted at any time.
5. I Hurt All Over
While there are many seniors who downplay their symptoms, there are also seniors who exaggerate what they’re feeling. While this may seem like no big deal, it can lead to unnecessary tests and prescription medications, and it can delay determining the real cause of a senior’s pain or discomfort.
Being honest with his or her doctor is one of the best ways for your loved one to stay as healthy as possible. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior care. Prescott, AZ, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. If you need professional home care for your loved one, our Care Managers are just a phone call away. Reach out to Home Care Assistance today at (928) 771-0105.