Family Doctors - Helping You Maintain the Age

27 Jul 2018


AMA FAMILY DOCTOR WEEK, 22- 28 July 2018

Your Family Doctor: Here for you

Australians are living longer, and greater numbers are living to very high ages.

AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone - who has worked for over 30 years with patients as they move through the stages of life, and who has a close interest in ensuring quality aged care services – said today that people can grow old gracefully and vey healthily if they look after themselves and take the advice of their family doctor.

“GPs are the rock for all ages,” Dr Bartone said.

“Family doctors work in partnership with their patients to ensure that living longer for those extra years can be active, healthy, and productive.” Dr Bartone said.

“The evidence shows that having a regular GP leads to better health outcomes and improves quality of life.

“A trusted family doctor can look after most of a patient’s health care needs and provide them with advice on what is needed to ensure people enjoy good physical and mental health as they age.

“This is especially important as the likelihood for developing a chronic condition that can impact on mobility, general health, and quality of life increases as people age.

“If people drink too much alcohol, are overweight, smoke, are socially isolated, are not physically active, or do not eat a nutritionally balanced diet their older years will be less comfortable.”

Dr Bartone said that looking after your health as you get older is also very important in the workplace and staying productive.

“National Health Survey data shows that people with loser labour force participation suffer from one of eight selected long-term conditions compared with the total Australian population.

“Staying in productive work is good for your health as you age, and sets you up for a healthier outlook in later life.

“Nationally, the rates of chronic conditions and their associated risk factors are increasing.

“Having one or more chronic conditions makes health care more complex, and this is where having a family doctor is all-important.

“Family doctors work with their patients as they grow older to plan the best treatment and management of their condition to ensure the journey through the health system is smooth.

“GPs help their patients set goals and make positive steps towards better health.”

Dr Bartone said that an important part of health care and getting old is talking with family and friends about the inevitability of death and dying, even though it could be many years away.

“It is important for families to have these discussions to ensure that a parent, family member, or loved one has their wishes known and carried through.

“GPs can work with patients and families to put in place an advance care plan, which ensures a person’s wishes are recognised in any decisions made on their behalf about their health care,” Dr Bartone said.

AMA Family Doctor Week runs from 22 to 28 July.

Follow all the action on Twitter: #amafdw18 and the Family Doctor Week Website

27 July 2018

CONTACT:           John Flannery                              02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761
                             Maria Hawthorne                         02 6270 5478 / 0427 209 753


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