Managing Your Medical Condition
Your medical team may be the ones to tell you how to manage your medical condition but it’s up to you to get it done. Generally, successful management includes the following:
- Understanding your condition, its symptoms and how it might change over time.
- Monitoring (and keeping a written record of) your vital signs and symptoms – knowing what ‘normal’ is and knowing what to do if they ever fall outside of a normal range.
- Correctly taking your medications including at proper time of day, and following any notes or restrictions (e.g. take with food)
- Writing and keeping a full list of medications you take including any supplements, vitamins and over-the-counter drugs and then sharing with your medical team.
- Keeping your medical appointments and knowing what to ask when you attend them.
Here are some additional resources that may help with your understanding of this topics:
2. Monitoring your vital signs and symptoms
- Johns Hopkins Medicine – A review of basic vital signs and how to check them.
- S. National Library of Medicine – How vital signs change with aging.
- Stanford Health – measuring vital signs, what is considered ‘normal’ and what to do if you are concerned about your readings.
3. Managing and taking your medications
- Harvard Medical School – How to manage your medications.
- Johns Hopkins Medicine – How to manage medications for multiple conditions.
- WebMD – Tips for organizing your medications.
- BlueCross BlueShield – Medications, following directions.
- National Institute on Aging – A template to help you put together a list of your medications and keep track of them.
4. Managing medical appointments
- gov – Tips on making medical appointments.
- National Institute on Aging – How to prepare for a medical appointment.
- National Institute on Aging – How to talk with your doctor.
- Agency for Health Research and Quality – Questions to ask your doctor.
- National Institute on Aging –17 questions to ask when choosing a new doctor.
- WebMD – How to ask for a second opinion.