What to Expect Entering the 'Golden Years'
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 08, 2004
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 5222
"During this time in our lives we may experience minor short-term memory problems, heightened risk of injury from falls, more medical illnesses and increased medication use," says Michael Fleming, M.D., president of the American Academy of Family Physicians.
"Your family physician can dispel myths about aging, help set up a personalized health regimen, manage complex medical problems and put you in touch with local agencies to provide necessary services to make daily living easier," Fleming says.
He makes these points:
- An occasional lapse in memory doesn't necessarily signal Alzheimer's disease or dementia, often times medication side effects or interactions are the culprit. Talk with your family doctor if you are worried or have questions.
- Make sure your family doctor knows about all the medications and alternative therapies you use.
- Urinary incontinence is almost always an underlying problem, not part of normal aging. This too could be the result of medication use or an infection.
Family physicians are exceptionally qualified to care for people through every stage of life, addressing psychological and physical changes associated with aging. These specialists understand that preventing illness and injury is the best way to live a long, healthy life. The Census Bureau estimated the number of people 65 years and older at more than 35 million in 2002, predicting this group will more than double to 71.5 million - a quarter of the U.S. population - by 2030.
Working with your family physician is paramount during every stage of life, especially during the golden years. "The older we are the more complex our health may become," says Fleming.
See www.familydoctor.org for more information.
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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 110,600 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.
Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is 240 million office visits each year — nearly 87 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.
To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.FamilyDoctor.org.