What to Look for When Searching for Senior Primary Care?
Evidence shows that people are living longer than ever – but we are not necessarily living healthier lives. Poor health and the inability to participate in meaningful activities (whether social, recreational, spiritual, communal, physical, etc.) can reduce quality of life. Finding senior primary care that prioritizes the monitoring and management of chronic and age-related conditions is essential, but so is seeking care that emphasizes prevention, wellness, compassion, and caring. These are key to not only living longer, but living better.
If you are searching for senior primary care, we have a few tips on how and where to start:
- Start with your network. If you have insurance coverage through an HMO or PPO, start with your plan’s network of providers. List all the in-network providers who specialize in senior care and who are accepting new patients. If you have Medicare and/or Medicaid, be sure to ask if they accept those forms of insurance.
- Ask for recommendations from peers. If you can see any provider or are trying to narrow the list of in-network doctors, ask for recommendations from friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, etc.. This is a great way to gain insight into the provider’s skill, but as importantly, their level of empathy, understanding, and respect. No one wants a doctor who appears disengaged or disinterested. Also look at review sites online. This is a great source of information from your peers.
- Think about your needs. Again, it is important that your provide specialize in senior care and is able to address your specific needs, whether you are coping with a chronic condition or want to address wellness goals. It is just as vital that your doctor spends an appropriate amount of time with you, answers your questions thoroughly and in a way that is easy to understand, and that you don’t feel like you’re just another number being rushed out the door. A primary care physician can be a powerful ally but they need to treat not only the physical but also your emotional needs in terms of making sure your voice is heard and respected.
- Location, location, location. When all is said and done, you need to be able to conveniently and consistently access your senior primary care provider. If transportation and/or mobility are issues, look for qualified providers in your area. Cano Health, for example, has multiple locations throughout Broward, Miami-Dade, Orlando, and Tampa. We are also happy to offer transportation to and from your appointments, as well as free prescription delivery.
- Ask about other services. Again, convenience is essential. Many senior primary care centers offer additional services, including wellness, dental, vision, population health, and telehealth to best meet your needs.
- Availability. When you have a provider or two in mind, call the office and inquire as to whether they are accepting new patients and if they accept your private insurance and/or Medicare and Medicaid. This will also give you a chance to interact with the staff: are they polite? Responsive? Respectful? Courteous? What is your first impression?
- Stop by. Few of us buy products without checking them out beforehand. The same holds true when we are “buying” medical care. Stop by the provider’s office and ask for a tour. Is your request accommodated? Is the office setting welcoming? Do you feel comfortable? You can also use the visit as an opportunity to ask important questions, including regarding appointments, prescriptions, annual screenings, followups, etc. Not all providers have the time for an in-person tour, but they should have a staff person who can show you around and answer your questions. Ask and see!
When searching for primary care physicians for seniors, start with Cano Health. We provide a full spectrum of health and wellness services and continually strive to meet your needs. Accessible healthcare is a must for active seniors, and our goal is to provide personalized, proactive, and compassionate care.
>>> Contact us today at 855.CANOMED (855.226.6633) to learn more or to schedule an appointment.