It’s one thing to feel healthy and another to actually be healthy. Here’s how a UnitedHealthcare® HouseCalls visit can help you tell the difference — and help get you to where you want to be.
One easy way to stay on top of your health is to take advantage of your annual visits. And with UnitedHealthcare® HouseCalls, members get a free visit with a licensed medical practitioner every year, right in their own home. (HouseCalls* is part of most Medicare Advantage plans.)
But not everyone schedules an appointment. A common reason: They think they’re too healthy to benefit from one. But are they really?
Researchers have found that sometimes there’s a disconnect between how healthy older adults perceive themselves to be and how healthy they actually are. In fact, some adults who have moderate to serious health issues — such as diabetes or chronic back pain — rated their health as a 9 on a scale from 1 to 10 (with 10 being the best health) and described themselves as being healthy and active, according to a study in Geriatric Nursing.
The goal, of course, is not to be able to run a marathon or bench-press your own body weight. It’s to be as healthy and active as you can be, even if you have multiple health conditions. To that end, it’s important to have a realistic sense of your health status so that you can take steps to maintain where you are now or make changes that will help improve your health.
Regular care from services like HouseCalls can help you get there. “It’s pretty rare for us not to find something we can help with,” says Stephony Robinson, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, a nurse practitioner and director of clinical operations for HouseCalls.
Book a free HouseCalls visit today
Managing multiple conditions usually means dealing with visits to multiple providers. But UnitedHealthcare HouseCalls brings yearly check-in care into your own home at no extra cost — the visits are part of most Medicare Advantage plans. Connect for up to a full hour of 1-on-1 time with a member of our licensed medical staff. You’ll get a physical, health screenings and plenty of time to talk about your health questions. It’s a great way to feel confident about your health, knowing an extra set of eyes is looking out for you in between regular provider visits.
How to help gauge your health status
We’ve developed a mini assessment that can give you a basic snapshot of how you’re doing in the health department. It includes simple self-tests, a review of your lifestyle habits and some of your recent screening-test results, if you have them handy. (If you don’t, you can get caught up without having to leave your house. Learn how.)
While this isn’t intended to diagnose you, your answers can give you important insights, says Alexandra Myers, D.O., an osteopathic physician who specializes in family medicine and sports medicine. She is also the director of the Women’s Athletic Medicine Clinic at San Diego State University. If you have any questions, make sure to talk with your primary care provider (PCP).
Let’s get started. Grab a sheet of paper, read the following questions, and answer each one yes or no. If it’s easier, you can just print out this page and jot down your responses there.
1. Can you get out of a chair without using your hands?
2. Can you climb a flight of stairs without getting short of breath?
3. Can you walk briskly on a flat surface for 30 minutes without needing to take a break?
4. If you’re on the ground, can you get up without using something to help you?
5. Can you touch your toes and reach toward the sky without pain?
6. Can you move all your joints without pain?
7. Do you get 7 to 9 hours of good-quality sleep each night?
8. Do you perform at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise throughout the week?
9. Take your pulse: Is your resting heart rate between 60 and 100 beats per minute?
10. Jot down your height and weight, then calculate your body mass index (BMI) here: Is your BMI between 18.5 and 24.9?
11. When you’re resting or sitting still, is your blood pressure lower than 120/80?
12. Is your hemoglobin A1C level below 5.7%?
13. Is your total cholesterol less than 200 mg/dL?
14. Is your LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol less than 100 mg/dL?
15. Is your HDL (the “good”) cholesterol 60 mg/dL or higher?
16. Are your triglycerides less than 150 mg/dL?
How’d you do? The more times you answered yes, the better you’re doing. The more times you responded no, the more areas you may have to work on. And that’s okay because it’s important information to have. Your responses can help you set priorities for what to discuss with your PCP, says Dr. Myers.
But here’s what’s crucial. Even if you’re doing really well, staying on top of your regular care — including your annual HouseCalls visit — can help keep you in a healthy zone. So if you haven’t had yours yet, make that appointment today. To confirm you’re eligible and to schedule a visit, call 1-800-934-0280, TTY 711 or click here.
And if you didn’t know all the answers to the questions, your HouseCalls practitioner can help. You’ll get a complete snapshot of your health. These visits last about an hour, so you’ll have plenty of time to ask questions and set new health goals. “This extra time allows us to do a thorough evaluation and ask patients what’s important to them,” Robinson says.
Even better, your HouseCalls practitioner will share all the details with your PCP so your entire care team can help you get to the place you want to be — or stay in the healthy place that you are.
Ready to learn more about HouseCalls? Get the facts now.
*HouseCalls may not be available with all plans or in all areas.