Health & Wellness Over 50s Lifestyle

Is it TIME for a Health Care Plan?

February 22, 2023
Health Care Plan

Recently, my darling’s doctor suggested it was time to have a Care Plan put into place. A Care Plan in Australia, is available for those with chronic illness to have free access to allied health professionals such as podiatrists, physiotherapists, dietitians and diabetes educators. This is a great service but as someone who doesn’t really think about age, I thought immediately – ‘oh that is for older people’. I remember Mike doing this for his Mum and she was in her 80s at the time.

I went along with Mike to meet with the nurse and found it very interesting. As a Veteran (Vietnam War), Mike is already covered for healthcare through the Department of Veteran Affairs and he certainly does have some health issues. As we have recently moved , he needs to establish new specialists and allied health options, so it was good for him to have a plan put into place which included referrals.

There is also an option to have your pharmacist take a look at your medications and make sure there aren’t any contraindications.

Basically, a healthy care plan is an audit of where you are and what you need.

The experience made me pause to think about what type of care plan I have for myself. Fortunately, I don’t have any chronic illnesses, and therefore am not eligible for a Care Plan. I am guilty at times of thinking that my exercise and healthy eating (most of the time) will hold me in good stead and I rarely visit the doctor. I do have some non-negotiable tests due to family medical history for heart disease and various cancers, which I have on my list.

It can be easy to put ourselves on the back burner, as we care for others, and if we are feeling okay not worry about doctors’ visits unless we are really ill.

The Benefits of a Care Plan

  • Provides a structured approach to your health
  • Enables you to have more active participation in your own healthcare
  • Builds rapport with your GP and medical team
  • Co-ordination between your GP and allied health professionals

TIME to establish my version of a Health Care Plan

My WOTY is TIME and using my time wisely. This week I took the time to list all of the tests, screenings and health requirements I need at the moment.

  1. Establish a new relationship with a local GP – I’ve made the appointment and have listed what I need to discuss with her during the consultation.
  2. Establish a new relationship with a local Dentist – I’ve made the appointment even though I’m not a fan of the dentist but I’m going.
  3. Book a mammogram – my Mum had Breast Cancer so I ensure I have a mammogram regularly
  4. Colonoscopy – My Dad had bowel cancer so I have a colonoscopy every 5 years
  5. Cardiologist – I haven’t been for a couple of years so need to get an update on my heart health.
  6. Skin Check – living in Queensland which is sunshine most of the year, we have the highest rates of melanoma in the world
  7. Arrange to finally have a lipoma removed from my left armpit. A lipoma is a fatty lump that forms. It has grown steadily over the last few years and is now bigger than a golf ball so I need it removed. It isn’t dangerous and is benign , however it is starting to become uncomfortable.
  8. Physio – as a runner and with my regular workouts, my body sometimes needs that extra care. I’m making time to book an appointment for a sports massage.
  9. Get back on track with healthier eating habits. Not a diet but sometimes I’ve been overdoing the ‘treats’
  10. Making time to reduce stress and anxiety through regular exercise, social connection and time out to read and for other forms of self care.

That’s a start on my list and I’m sure to add to it along the way.

Do you have a version of your own Health Care Plan in place? Are you looking after your health or are you too busy looking after others? Make time for you….

Sue Loncaric

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way

28 Comments

  • Reply Debbie February 22, 2023 at 10:24

    A fabulous reminder of what we should be doing for ourselves and our family Sue. You are on top of things and so generous in sharing your ideas and health related plans with us. Hope all your tests go well. I’ve finally been for my annual blood tests this morning, Ive had the form for over 2 months but you reminded me it was important to get them done and there’s no time like the present. So thanks again.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 22, 2023 at 10:55

      Hi Deb, I think we spend so much time looking after others we tend to let our own basic health needs lapse. So far I’ve had my blood test plus an ultrasound for the lipoma. So ticking off some boxes. x

  • Reply Retirement Reflections February 22, 2023 at 10:34

    Hi, Sue – I am very impressed to read about the cocordinated health services available there. It is very wise to utilize them. Prevention is always a smart option. <3

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 22, 2023 at 10:55

      Hi Donna, it is a great service really and free for those who are eligible. x

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee February 22, 2023 at 12:01

    Wow. Good post. Was unaware. I can see I’ll need this for Mum soon enough. Though I seem to be endless tests atm so maybe me too….

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 22, 2023 at 12:21

      Hi Lydia, it is a great service but there are eligibility requirements as I suggested. Just look up the website link I included in the post or talk to your Mum’s GP. xx

  • Reply Deborah February 22, 2023 at 13:00

    My mum’s had one for a while. We learned a lot of lessons with my dad so she’s had one since her late 60s or early 70s. And recently – more frightening – her doctor asked if she had her ‘affairs in place’. *gulp*

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 23, 2023 at 08:12

      Mike organized these for his Mum and Dad when they were alive. I hope your Mum is okay. I think the Health Care Plans are a great idea and we all need to have our affairs in order as we never know what will happen. I haven’t been taking care of myself and I suppose you are the same. We tend to look after others better than ourselves. Sending hugs to you and your Mum xx

    • Reply Janine February 24, 2023 at 10:36

      Hi Sue – a great reminder to take care of ourselves. I’m slowly ticking items off my own health list but still need to sort dentist and cholesterol tests! It’s good to know I’m not alone in putting off these important tasks. Thanks for the motivational reminder x

      • Reply Sue Loncaric February 24, 2023 at 15:09

        Hi Janine, I think moving to the Coast three years ago put me off track as I couldn’t find a doctor that I clicked with. We were also sorting our my MIL’s estate which turned into a nightmare, and Mike has his medical issues so it all just became a bit too hard for me. Now that I’m back in Brisbane it’s time to sort my health plan out!

  • Reply Denyse February 22, 2023 at 14:14

    Just about everything we do since we turned 70 is health related! However we are very grateful for our professional teams. Going back to Sydney we are so fortunate we can return to the large GP practice we left in 2015 & we already have our first appointments booked. We will be asking about getting Covid #5 vaccine. Great post Sue & great reminder for everyone. Check ups with your family history are not only vital but I always hope reassuring!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 23, 2023 at 08:14

      Hi Denyse, our Brisbane doctor moved to another practice so it isn’t practical for us to go back to him. Mike is fortunate as a Veteran and DVA Gold Card holder to have free medical and allied health including mental health assistance for his PTSD. At the moment I am not eligible for a Health Care Plan but I can put my own in place to keep all of my medical requirements in place. xx

  • Reply Bernadette February 22, 2023 at 21:52

    This is a wonderful post Sue. The best medicine is preventative medicine.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 23, 2023 at 08:14

      So true, Bernadette. Prevention is better than cure is another saying and one that we should keep front and centre in our minds. x

    • Reply Denyse Whelan Blogs February 24, 2023 at 11:59

      Thank you for joining in this week’s link up for Wednesday’s Words and Pics. Next week I will be in ‘moving house’ mode, so no link up. All being well, the link up will be back on 8 March. Denyse.

      • Reply Sue Loncaric February 24, 2023 at 15:09

        Good luck with the move, Denyse. It may feel overwhelming but it is also a very exciting time. x

  • Reply Jo February 23, 2023 at 05:35

    Great post Sue. I’m overdue for both the dentist and a skin check – so that’s a reminder for me. My mammogram is due in June. It really is adulting 101 isn’t it?

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 23, 2023 at 08:16

      I think dentist and especially skin checks get left to the bottom of the list, don’t they? We do need to take control of our health because we certainly make sure our loved ones do. xx

  • Reply Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid February 23, 2023 at 18:25

    What a great reminder! I am not a fan of the dentist either but try and make sure I go for a check twice a year. I must check when I’m next due for a mammogram – also not my favourite – but so important! I love the idea of a DIY health care plan 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 24, 2023 at 15:01

      Hi Sammie, I go to the dentist reluctantly twice a year. I have to admit dental work is much better than when I was a child! x

  • Reply Jennifer Jones February 23, 2023 at 18:33

    Sue this post is so timely for us. My partner went to the doctor yesterday and as he has a serious medical condition she has booked him in for a health care plan. When he told me about this today, my first thought was to wonder what was a health care plan. I had never heard of it. Your list to be discussed with your doctor reminded me of how far I am behind with my health checks. And as for the dentist. I do need to go but so far am not brave enough. Stupid I know.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 24, 2023 at 15:03

      Hi Jen, I’m sorry to hear your partner has a serious medical condition. It can be such a worry, can’t it? You aren’t stupid about having a fear of the dentist and certainly not alone feeling that way. I hope your partner is okay and you take care of yourself, too. x

  • Reply roughwighting February 24, 2023 at 08:48

    GREAT reminder that at any age, we should meet up with doctors/specialists who will follow us and our health through the years. My guy and I have interviewed doctors in the past few years to find those we connect with and can communicate with easily. We find that the patient portal is a great way to ask simple questions and to see if a follow up appointment is necessary. Taking care of our health now makes it more probably that we’ll have less (major) problems in the future.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 24, 2023 at 15:05

      Connection and good communication is vital with your health provider isn’t it? My husband and I have been fortunate to build great relationships with our GP, however, now having been away for 3 years and moving back to Brisbane we have to start again.

  • Reply Toni Pike February 24, 2023 at 19:37

    Very good advice, Sue. I’ve been doing this over the last few months, because I have had some health issues and trying to keep myself healthy. You inspired me to focus on making an overall plan. Hugs, Toni x

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 25, 2023 at 17:03

      Oh Toni, I hope nothing too serious? Take care of yourself, my friend. xx

      • Reply Toni Pike February 25, 2023 at 18:54

        Just a series of chronic things, Sue xx

        • Reply Sue Loncaric February 26, 2023 at 09:11

          Oh that’s not good to hear, Toni. Take care of yourself. x

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