Most of our older residents have worked hard all of their lives with an end goal of enjoying their retirement, planning for all the things they couldn’t do due to work and family commitments, looking forward to a change in lifestyle, though often not a change in pace.
75 years is not old these days and it is important to keep one step ahead of chronic health conditions, both already known or you maybe displaying indications of the potential for them to develop, as well as changes that may affect how you lead an active/fulfilling lifestyle.
The 75 and over Health Check is designed to do just that. The assessment conducted by your family GP at Burnett Medical Centre and our trained SIPS/Enhanced Primary Care Nurse that is funded either fully (Centrelink Concession Card holder) or in part, Medicare Rebate + small out of pocket expense.
The initial part of the assessment is carried out by our nurse at BMC, who will ask you are coping at home to identify any areas where a little extra help might be useful such as going shopping or gardening or perhaps you need help with showering or organising your medications.
We have knowledge of what help is available to you and can help put you in touch with the right people. You or your family may express some concerns that may have been noticed, like becoming a little forgetful, confused, our nurse can perform a MMSE test, to capture any future events, or to put yourself/families mind at ease that all is well.
The nurse will then move onto discussions about your physical, psychological and social well being. The nurse may take weights, measurements, your blood pressure, perhaps check your blood sugar levels by use of an instant blood test, there maybe also other checks if you have Diabetes, CPOD, Asthma and the like in a second assessment called a GPMP or General Practitioner Management Plan, for those with chronic disease indications, through this second assessment a TCA or Team Care Arrangement can be organised with suitable Allied Health, of which Medicare will fund either fully or majority (dependent on the Allie Health’s policy) up to 5 visits per year and should you have a change in your condition, additional visits maybe available.
Once all the information is gathered, you will then see your usual GP to complete the plan. This visit is usually performed on the same day and your doctor may alter a few things within the plan so that it is custom designed specifically for you, your GP will consult with you on the recommendations.
Regular, annual Health Checks like this are valuable and for you and your GP to identify any needs or concerns you may have about maintaining your independence both within your home and whilst you enjoy your older years.
The 75 and over Health Check is also a very useful tool for those that still and do enjoy having a driving license, for the requirements of the Qld Transport Departments regular drivers license medical. The Assessment is designed with you in mind.
Talk to your doctor regarding one of these health assessment plans.
A research paper on:“Patient views of over 75 years health assessments in general practice” by Margaret Spillman B.Sc. (Hons), Tracy Cheffins MBBS MPH FRACGP FAFPHM and Debbie Kimber RN, BN, Grad Cert Practice Nursing Practice Nurse found:
AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF ADVANCED NURSING Volume 29 Number 4
Subjects 65 general practice patients with a response rate of 45.1% (65/144). The respondents were 67.7% (44/65) female and 30.8% (20/65) male with one gender (1.5%) not recorded.
Main outcome measure
Whether patients found the over 75 HAs beneficial and whether they considered the annual time frame for HAs appropriate.
The majority of respondents 77% (47/61) indicated that their most recent HA was beneficial even though few respondents had a new health concern identified at this HA. A majority (82.5%, 52/63) also supported the current time frame of annual HAs, although 12.7% (8/63) thought once every 2 years was acceptable.
The findings confirm the benefits of health assessments in providing timely treatment for new health concerns and allaying anxiety in the elderly patients of this practice.
To view this research paper in its entirety: