ALL Corner Inlet district people aged over 75 years are invited to take the fullest advantage of the wide range of local medical and lifestyle support services, and to have a thorough health check now, and another one each year.
These initial and annual comprehensive health assessments are bulkbilled and so are free of charge to anyone over 75 through the Foster and Toora Medical Centre.
Medical Centre practice nurse Kristie Cocksedge said the assessment process explores each client’s current state of health, which establishes a series of baselines for future comparisons to help identify changes.
“Our aim is always to look at ways that would allow the more mature members of our community to live as well as they can for as long as they can,” she said.
“The Medical Centre and South Gippsland Hospital’s Community Health Centre in Foster work in close partnership with each other and between the two we have so many services and resources available to help older people do just that.
“Assessments are not just a check on an individual’s health but they’re also one of the keys that opens the door to access all of these other services; it’s a one-stop shop, if you like.”
Kirstie said she has been providing health assessments for local people for more than seven years, and that she really enjoys the rapport that soon develops with her clients.
“We often seem to end up talking about all sorts of interesting things along with the client’s health, and even have a little bit of fun while we’re at it!” she laughed.
“During a health assessment I spend about an hour with the client and we cover a whole realm of different areas, including making sure the Medical Centre has an accurate record of their past medical history, and their current health status including any medications they may be on.
“We do a thorough medical examination, including taking an ECG if one hasn’t been done for a while for a snapshot of the client’s heart health, as well as conducting blood pressure, temperature, respiration and mobility checks,” Kirstie said.
“I ask whether people are up to date with their immunisations, and how they’re going keeping up with any treatment regimens that may have already been prescribed for them.
“We can also take care of routine health matters such as testing eyesight, hearing and urine, that occasionally may be inadvertently overlooked during a visit to the doctor that’s been taken up with other matters,” she said.
“When we’re doing a health assessment, there’s always plenty of time to talk about concerns the client may have regarding their own health.
“For instance, I ask clients about how they’re managing their day-to-day lives and we discuss ways of staying safe and avoiding accidents and injuries, including identifying trip hazards and mobility and access problems at home and how to solve them.
“Importantly, I can also make suggestions and provide information about what local health services, social support groups and community groups might suit or appeal to a client to help boost their physical or mental good health, as well as their overall quality of life.
“These include South Gippsland Hospital’s Seniors Day Stay Program, the Social Support Group, the Hospital’s health clinics such as Diabetes, Podiatry and Physiotherapy, as well as community-based organisations like U3A, Probus, and Senior Citizens.
“I like to find out what gives a person joy, and what they would like to do more of, and then finding ways to help them achieve that goal,” Kirstie said.
“Every health assessment client is booked in for a follow-up appointment with their GP, so any issues that need further medical involvement can be addressed in a timely manner,” she said.
“All of the Medical Centre’s patients who are over the age of 75 are offered this bulkbilled Health Assessment each year, and we do encourage our over-75s to take advantage of this annual offering! For health’s sake!”
For more information about the Over-75 Health Assessment and to make an appointment, contact the Foster and Toora Medical Centre on 5682 2088.
Together with their local professional colleagues, Foster and Toora Medical Centre practice partner Dr Phil Worboys, Medical Centre practice nurse Kristie Cocksedge, and South Gippsland Hospital Director Community Health Samantha Park offer annual health assessments, along with individually-tailored care, treatment and support services, at little and sometimes no cost, to every Corner Inlet district resident aged over 75 years.