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One of the biggest concerns I have as I age is how to protect my health. I will bet that if you’re over 60 years old, this is a concern you also face.

Having spent five years of my life fighting and hopefully beating back cancer I have a good reason to worry. I’ve also learned a few things going through cancer world and they might be useful for you.

Find someone who can help you with managing your care.

This could be a family member but that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about finding a primary care practice where your Doctor or Nurse Practitioner are available when you need them and you can get over ten minutes with them at a time.

There is a medical practice called concierge medical practices. In this world you pay for access to a Doctor. The physician you choose will limit their practice and you often have their personal contact information.

You can expect that if a major medical event happens in your life, this doctor will coordinate your care with specialists you’ll need.

I wish I had known about this option when I was going through my cancer event. It would have made my life much easier and I wouldn’t have had to manage six specialists when I could not do so.

Learn how to evaluate the health care professionals you work with.

This means learn how to research the medical professional you intend to work with. First look at their resume. Most doctors today have what’s called a CV on their website or the website of the medical facility they’re associated with.

When you look at their CV you want to focus on where they went to medical school, where they did their residency and if they’ve done a fellowship and where it was done. I don’t want to work with a doctor unless they’ve done advanced training at a top-rated hospital.

Buy the type of insurance that you need.

This is true for everyone.

First, I understand the cost is always an issue. You should spend some time working on your financial needs with a good planner. Then, focus on what the options are for insurance. If you’re healthy an HSA option could be a good one for you. If not, you will likely want a more comprehensive medical plan.

If you’re over 65, you’ll be eligible for Medicare. The main choice you will have is whether to use a Medicare Advantage program or a Medigap program. I like Medigap because it has fewer constrictions that a Medicare Advantage program. I suggest finding a planner who understands this world and spend some time with them. The cost will be well worth it.

Learn about alternative health care options.

We like to think the only good medical care is traditional care. That just isn’t true. Options like meditation, acupuncture and holistic health care can do you a world of good.

I know that when going through cancer treatment my mantra was all the above. I took advantage of traditional medicine, and I also learned to meditate, worked with a healing touch person and used an acupuncturist. All of them were tremendously useful.

I still look to alternative care as part of ways of protecting myself and keeping my health as well as I can manage. I think you would also benefit from learning about an alternative to Western medicine.

Make sure you work on your own health care.

I left this for last because it just might be the most important thing you can do. If you don’t focus on your own health care, no one else will either. This means you have to exercise regularly, eat well and get enough sleep.

These are all things you can easily do. When I say exercise enough, I’m not saying you need to run the Boston Marathon, I mean you have to make your body move, hopefully three to five days a week. Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up everything you enjoy, but you need to learn about the word moderation.

Sleep is something we don’t pay enough attention to. One of the main things you can do to improve your health is make sure you sleep enough. Not getting enough sleep doesn’t just make you irritable. It impacts your health in a major way. You need to get at least seven hours of sleep a night and if possible find how much of your sleep is restorative. Consider doing a sleep study to see if the sleep that you’re getting is quality sleep.

So, what do you think? Are you willing to take control of your health to improve the quality of your life? If so, let me know in the comments below.

Also, if you’re interested in learning how financial planning can be integrated with your health care, click on the button below and set a time for us to talk. I’m sure the conversation will be something that will bring value to your life.

Topics: wealth, health care, managing health

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