The emergence of physical problems is inevitable in the process of ageing. In order to identify any such problems at an early stage for early treatment, many people will conduct body checks regularly. There are many types of physical check-up plans available in the market, with varying choices and fees. What factors should be considered when an elderly person plans to take out a body check-up package?
Consult a family doctor before choosing
First of all, the elder should first consult a family doctor before choosing a checkup plan. He should ask the doctor for recommendations based on his own health condition, risks and personal needs. Generally speaking, the elder should choose those tests which relate to most common health problems and those which are lss risky before considering those other tests.
Some check-up plans appeal to customers with cheaper fees or discounts, but it may mean fewer items or less qualified persons to conduct the tests or to interpret the test results. These could affect the usefulness of the check-up.
Risk of online shopping for check-up plan
Many people like to purchase check-up plans through online shopping. It is important to note that medical checkup plans have an expire date. For an elderly person, attention should be given to the expire date of the plan and make early appointments to avoid wastage. Some check-up plans offer optional and additional check-up items, but selected items may not be subject to change after selection has been made. Therefore, it is important to read the terms of the plan carefully before making payment. These include the validity period of the plan (calculated from the date of appointment or inspection), the transferability of plan, and feasibility of changing and adding check-up items, etc. Do keep all payment records for future follow up or claims when needed.
Accompanied by friends or relatives when listening to check-up report
Many check-up plans only include one-time consultation for listening to the check-up report. There is also a deadline for collecting the report and getting a consultation. Overdue reports may be destroyed. Therefore, it is recommended that elders should be accompanied by relatives or friends for listening to the report so that appropriate questions can be asked to ensure full understanding of the health condition of the elder and assess whether treatment is required.
The Department of Health has pointed out that there are technical limitations in each type of tests. None of the test methods are 100% accurate. In case of misinterpretation, the elder may feel distressed or necessary medical treatments could be delayed. Therefore, the body check-up report should be interpreted by a doctor, combined with clinical diagnosis and comprehensive assessment to make accurate judgments. The doctor should also explain the test findings and discuss with the elder and family on the appropriate follow-up treatment or referral to related professionals.
CHOICE Magazine: Issue Number 512