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Common Lies Seniors Tell Their Doctors (and Why They Should Stop)

By Erik Gans, 9:00 am on

People of all ages may tell little white lies to their doctors, especially if this truth is embarrassing. Those seemingly innocent untruths, though, can lead to severe health consequences, especially for older adults. Next time you or a senior loved one head to a doctor’s appointment, Fairfield Home Care Assistance recommends you avoid the following lies.

“I Don’t Smoke.”

You probably know that smoking can cause irreparable damage to the heart and lungs. What you may not know is that smoking can slow and complicate the healing process after surgery. Some doctors will not even perform elective surgery, such as facelifts, on smokers. If you light up, be honest.

“I Don’t Drink.”

If you drink alcohol, you need to tell your doctor what you drink and how much. The alcohol may interact with the medication you’re taking. Also, older adults are not immune to problems with alcohol and drug addiction. If you’re drinking too much, your doctor can help you find a treatment program.

“I Can Hear Just Fine.”

Some older adults are embarrassed about hearing loss. They may not hear the doctor’s instructions correctly. They may also withdraw socially and become isolated and depressed. Even more disturbing, hearing loss has been linked to dementia. If you have trouble hearing, your doctor needs to know.

“I Only Take My Prescription Medicine.”

Herbal supplements are very popular these days. The problem is that some of these supplements interact badly with prescription medications. Tell your doctor about any medication you’re taking, even if it’s only an over-the-counter supplement.

“I’m Not Sexually Active.”

Many seniors grew up believing that sex was a private matter that should not be discussed, even with a doctor. It is important for your doctor to know, however, if you’re sexually active. Seniors are vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases just the same as younger folks. In women, STDs can increase the risk of cervical cancer. Visiting a doctor is one time when it’s perfectly fine to kiss and tell.

Being completely honest with your doctor can be embarrassing. It’s better to feel a little embarrassed now, though, than it is to face big health problems later. Always be candid with your doctor.

For more information about senior wellness, turn to the friendly staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in, part-time, and respite care in Fairfield. Find out how our care services can help you or a senior loved one remain happy and healthy in the comfort of home by calling 203-955-1915 today. We look forward to hearing from you!