If you have asthma or allergies, coordinated care is important. However, what is "coordinated care?" Two or more people organize coordinated care. That could mean a doctor and patient, or multiple health care providers, the patient and family members. It helps you get the right care at the right time.
Coordinated care helps keep you healthy, especially if you have one of these challenges:
- Older Americans with asthma may be more likely to have other chronic conditions.
- Seniors may have trouble getting to a specialist (like an allergist or pulmonologist).
- Breathing difficulties caused by asthma or allergies are often triggered by the environment, making them tougher to manage.
Here are seven tips to help you manage your asthma and allergy care:
1. Keep a list of your medications and doses. Include the names of all prescription and over-the-counter medications. Make sure your asthma action plan is up to date.
2. Take your medications as your doctor tells you. Know how and when to use your quick-relief inhalers and long-term control medications.
3. Keep a list of your care providers, including contact information. Add your personal caregiver, whether it is a relative or someone else. Include them in discussions about your health.
4. Regularly visit a respiratory specialist or primary care provider. Discuss your asthma triggers, illnesses and medications. Review your asthma action plan.
5. Know your indoor and outdoor triggers and look for ways to avoid them whenever possible.
6. Name a family caregiver to help you coordinate your care and manage your asthma. Family members can check to make sure you are taking your medications correctly and that your condition doesn’t get worse.
7. Understand the services available through Medicare or your Medicare Advantage Plan. Access to care coordination services makes the difference between well-controlled and poorly controlled asthma.
For additional information, see the Respiratory Health and Care Coordination Pocket Companion.The Coalition for Medicare Choices and the Asthma and
Allergy Foundation of America created the Pocket Companion.
Additional resources include:
- Asthma and Allergy Snapshot
- Solutions to Live By: Addressing the Complexities of Care Coordination for People with Respiratory Disease