Our board-certified physicians in internal medicine and family medicine are specially trained to meet the health and psychosocial needs of seniors. Trained to address the complex chronic and acute health conditions that come later in life, our providers work together, bringing a personal, multidisciplinary approach to care.
Free annual wellness visits through Medicare
Annual well visits are more important than ever before. We strongly encourage seniors to schedule an annual wellness visit. This is not a physical exam, but a one-on-one discussion that is covered by Medicare to discuss preventive care.
During your visit, your health care team will:
- Review your medical and family history
- Develop or update of your current providers and prescriptions
- Take routine measurements including height, weight and blood pressure
- Detect any cognitive impairment
- Assist you with advance care planning
- Give personalized health advice including a list of risk factors and treatment options, as well as a screening schedule (checklist) for appropriate preventive services. Get details about coverage for screenings, shots, and other preventive services.
This is a free service provided through Medicare to improve your health, prevent disease, and maximize your wellness, so you can keep doing what you love to do.
Learn about our Care Coordination Program
Our Care Coordination Program was designed to help you develop the skills, knowledge and a plan to improve your health and quality of life. With support from a specialized care coordinator, you can manage your injury or illness in a way that lets you live more freely and feel well-taken care of.
Get ahead of future needs with Advance Directives
Advance directives document your wishes about medical care to your loved ones and health team when you become unable to speak for yourself. Creating clear instructions ahead of time ensures your wishes are respected during a medical crisis or end-of-life care. A written document also eases the burden of decision-making from loved ones, who may be unaware of or disagree with your wishes or with each other.
Your advance directives will include at least one of the following:
- Living will: This document describes your preferences regarding pain management, invasive surgery, artificial life support, organ or tissue donation, dementia care and more.
- Health care proxy: A health care proxy, also known as a power of attorney, is a person you trust who will make health care decisions on your behalf for situations not covered in your living will. Talk to this trusted person about your wishes in advance.
- Do not resuscitate (DNR) instructions: This form instructs your health care team not to perform CPR and other life-saving measures if your heart stops beating. The document can be added to your medical record.
- Life-sustaining treatment: The forms Medical Orders for Life-saving Treatment (for New York patients) and Practitioner Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST)are intended for patients with serious health conditions who want to avoid or receive any or all life-sustaining treatment.
Insurance tailored for seniors
Some of us have had the same insurance plan for decades, but just like your health care needs change with age, so do your insurance needs. We’re here to help make sure you are taking full advantage of your insurance options, so you can be covered as best as possible for the future.
Have you enrolled in Medicare?
Medicare is a national health insurance program administered by the federal government for people 65 or older, as well as some younger people with disabilities, or end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
- Medicare Part A provides coverage for inpatient hospital fees, skilled nursing in certain cases and hospice services.
- Medicare Part B provides coverage for outpatient care by doctors and other advanced practice professionals, doctor visits when you are in the hospital, preventive services (including most vaccines), ambulance services, most drugs administered by health care providers (such as cancer therapy drugs), kidney dialysis and durable medical equipment.
- Optional Medicare Supplement insurance is also available and can help cover some out-of-pocket expenses not covered by Medicare.
- Medicare Part D coverage is optional (but for most people necessary) for a monthly premium and helps cover your prescription medication costs.
- Medicare Part C (also called Managed Medicare or Medicare Advantage) are programs administered by private insurance companies and are alternatives to Medicare Parts A and B. They may also include prescription drug coverage otherwise covered by a Medicare Part D policy.
Have you enrolled in long-term care insurance?
Long-term care insurance covers care generally not covered by private health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. It helps cover the cost of nursing-home care, care in an assisted-living facility and home-care services. If you are considering long-term care insurance, we recommend speaking to a financial advisor to see if long-term care makes sense for you.
Immunizations for seniors
Age and the conditions we acquire in our lifetime have a great impact on our immune system. That’s why it’s important to keep up with regular immunizations and take advantage of immunizations that are especially recommended for aging patients.
If you have an ongoing health condition, such as diabetes or heart disease, getting immunized is especially important. The guidelines below are identified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as the best way to prevent serious illness.
You can keep falls from happening
Talk to your doctor
The chance of falling goes up as you get older. Follow these tips to lower your chances of a fall.
- Tell your doctor if your medicine makes you feel dizzy or sleepy.
- Tell your doctor if you need to hold onto walls, furniture or someone else to walk. You might want to try physical therapy. It uses movement to help with pain and weakness.
- Ask your doctor if a cane or walker might help.
- Get your eyes and hearing checked often.
- Wear shoes that have low heels and don’t slip.
- Stay hydrated. Not drinking enough water can cause falls in older adults.
- Limit alcohol.
- Get plenty of rest. If you don’t get enough sleep, your balance can get worse.
- Take part in a fall prevention class.
Fall-proof your home
Most falls happen at home. Here’s how you can stop them from happening:
- Remove clutter from hallways. Put electric cords away.
- Make sure your home is well lit, including night lights.
- Don’t use throw rugs. Make sure the carpet is in place so you don’t slip and fall.
- Put handrails on both sides of the stairs. Also put grab bars in the bathroom.
- Use mats in areas that get wet and slippery. The shower and bathtub are good places for mats.
- Don’t stand on a chair or table to reach something high.
- Watch out for pets. Don’t let them trip you.
- Keep your phone and emergency numbers close by.
Stay active to support your strength and balance
When you’re less active, you’re more likely to fall. Check out these tips to improve your strength and balance:
- Do workouts that make the muscles in your lower body stronger. The best way to stop falls is to make your hips and thighs stronger.
- Add balance moves to your workouts and daily activities.
- Plant a garden, clean, take the stairs or go on a walk. These are great ways to stay active.
- Join the Optum Virtual Community Center at youtube.com/user/optum. You’ll find many safe and fun virtual workout classes.
- National Institute on Aging (NIH). Falls and fractures in older adults: causes and prevention. nia.nih.gov/health/prevent-falls-and-fractures. Accessed March 8, 2023.
- National Falls Prevention Resource Center/National Council on Aging. Debunking the myths of older adult falls. ncoa.org/article/debunking-the-myths-of-older-adult-falls. Accessed March 8, 2023.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. STEADI: Older adult fall prevention. cdc.gov/steadi. Accessed March 8, 2023.
- AARP. Daily exercises you can do in 10 minutes for better balance. aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2019/better-balance-exercises.html. Accessed March 8, 2023.
- National Library of Medicine. Association between dehydration and falls. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7283563/. Accessed March 8, 2023.
Medical care and help
Whether you are battling a challenging condition or illness, or getting prepared for your next stages of care, your primary care physician is ready to guide you through everything Optum has to offer. From physical therapy to care coordinators and wellness programs, talk to your doctor about your needs.
Contact us if you have any questions.