/// Be Your Own Health Advocate & Live a Healthier and Happier Life
This week on the <<>> BLOG <<>> I have teamed up with Amanda Henderson of www.safechildren.info to share on some tips to being your own health advocate and living a healthier, happier life!
Becoming an effective self-advocate means understanding your own health, building a healthy lifestyle, and taking control of your health and health care experience. Expanding conversations with your health care team, maintaining your own health records, and making confident and informed healthcare decisions often lead to a healthier, happier, and longer life. This article highlights a few ideas to help you take control of your health and health care advocacy to reap the benefits of personal health empowerment.
Begin With Your Own Health
Health self-empowerment requires working toward realistic health care goals. What are your health goals? Think about your sleep, nutrition, exercise, social, and hygiene routines, all of which are known to strongly influence happiness and energy levels. All are within your control, but setting goals and making wholesale lifestyle changes can be difficult. Instead, make small, incremental adjustments over three or four weeks to increase the likelihood of a good routine becoming established. Maximize the satisfaction of achieving your goals by building on your momentum.
Take baby steps if that’s what works for you. For example, use the stairs instead of the elevator at work, or go for a walk or swim at a nearby pool during your lunch break. Join a gym or work out with a friend or co-worker to strengthen your motivation and consistency. Daily dog-walking — actually, walking of any kind — is an easy way to pleasantly accrue multiple health benefits.
Increase Your Confidence Level
Team-based health care requires you to be an active participant and collaborator in your own care. Approach engagements with the health care system with confidence by being organized and informed. Consider maintaining a copy of your own health and medical records. Talk to your health care provider about their data management system, or use a free online tool for storing medical images and reports. Upload, merge, store, and quickly combine videos and images in one central location to simplify your own record keeping.
Be prepared to ask questions of your health care team and seek additional input and trusted opinions. Write down your questions, and take notes during appointments to facilitate follow-up and further research. Bring your family and friends up to speed so they can empathize and offer support.
Plan for the Long Term
Aging and retirement present new opportunities for health care self-advocacy. Senior living and nursing home facilities are ideal for those facing serious, long-term, or chronic health issues. You’ll have ready access to skilled nursing and medical expertise, customized programming, solid routines, and round-the-clock monitoring.
Carefully research and compare the appropriate senior living and nursing home facilities in your area. Read online reviews and testimonials and arrange to visit various facilities. Talk to residents and staff and review your needs relative to the cost, amenities, and programs offered. Listen to your doctor and consult extensively with your trusted friends and family when considering this important step.
Connect the Dots for Your Health
Taking an active and informed interest in your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health makes good sense and comes with many lifestyle benefits. Start with your own personal health goals, think about ways to empower yourself, and then build a plan for your long-term health. Visit Nicole Zapoli Fitness to get started.
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