As part of an ongoing series Goodwin Life, with Goodwin Wellness Centre, will give you some easy health habits that you can begin right away to improve your everyday wellbeing. This first instalment looks at taking the first step in improving your health: a health audit.
The risk for certain medical conditions – including heart attack, stroke, dementia, diabetes, chronic pain and some types of cancer – increases with age, so it’s important to be proactive about your health. A comprehensive health audit is essential to monitor changes in your body and stay on top of any concerns. For the best outcomes, make sure you book with a practice that specialises in working with older people.
With an emphasis on holistic health and an ambience more akin to a day spa the Goodwin Wellness Centre offers the services of a geriatrician, podiatrist, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, pharmacist, GP, nutritionist and nurses under one roof, and provides health assessments for free for Goodwin clients and residents.
“Our approach is not to tell people what to do, but to empower them with the tools and support they need to age the way they want to,” explains the Centre’s nurse practitioner Tamra MacLeod.
Health assessments are tailored to individual clients and can involve anything from organising a bone density scan and looking at pathology results to tailoring strengthening exercises for back pain. But a health audit should never be a one-off process.
It’s important to set goals, and review progress over time, recommends Tamra. The Wellness Centre may refer you to other services as you need them, whether it’s an exercise class to help them improve their fitness or a specialist to address a particular health concern.
With stress and depression linked to physical decline in seniors, Tamra points out that a health audit should cover off so much more than just the physical aspect of someone’s wellbeing.
To achieve a better quality of life, consider the mind as well as the body, says Tamra. “At the Wellness Centre, for example, if someone is experiencing depression over the loss of a loved one we might put them in touch with counselling services and friendship groups or teach them coping skills such as meditation. We’ll always be guided by what it is our individual clients want, and then work out a program that will help them achieve their personal wellness goals.”