Wild Wellness

Medicare covers an annual "wellness visit." The focus of a "wellness visit" is to create a prevention plan. The topics addressed in a "wellness visit" include health status, injury risks, risky behaviors, urgent health needs, risk factors for depression, functional ability, level of safety and cognitive function.

With that background and understanding...

Elderly woman in her 80s shows up for a Medicare "wellness visit." Her gait is steady and she is mentally intact. She plops herself down on the exam table, and we talk.

I review her history and medications. We discuss the support network she has in her life. I ask her about her appetite and activities of daily living. She claims it takes her a long time to bathe, otherwise she feels comfortable with everything, including shopping and cooking.

I notice her hair tied up in neat buns. Her clothes are clean and color-coordinated. Her nails are painted orange with silver sparkle. I notice abrasions across her legs.

Concerned about falls or, even worse, abuse, I casually ask her about the scrapes I her legs. She looks up at me sheepishly. She looks around the way a child would when caught with a hand in a candy jar.

Finally, she looks me in the eye. And confesses that she acquired the injury when she fell off her bike.



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