We take our kids to the pediatrician every year to ensure they’re healthy and thriving. But sometimes wellness visits get put on a back burner when we reach adulthood. The annual physical (or wellness visit) is just as important for adults as it is for kids. Checking in with our primary care provider helps us stay healthy and prevent illness. Wellness visits are vital to preventive care and can save lives.
Why Is An Annual Wellness Visit So Important for Adults?
Your annual wellness visit is essential on several levels. Some of the reasons to see your primary care provider include:
- Early detection of potential health problems. Your wellness visit offers several practices designed to catch chronic illnesses and other conditions early: blood pressure monitoring, weight checks and blood work. Your routine blood work checks for blood sugar levels (to identify diabetes and prediabetes), kidney function and lung function. A Complete Blood Count checks your red and white blood cells and platelets and screens for anemia, heart disease and cancer.
- Medication management and vaccinations. Your wellness visit is a chance for your provider to ensure your regular medications are working as intended and monitor side effects. It’s also an opportunity to stay up to date on essential immunizations, including flu shots, COVID boosters and vaccines for shingles and pneumonia in older adults.
- Monitoring weight and blood pressure. Keeping your weight and blood pressure at healthy levels are two ways to prevent chronic illness. If you have obesity or weight-related challenges, your provider can recommend insurance-covered programs.
- Maintaining healthy habits. For many of us, our annual wellness visit is a reminder to set healthy goals and create healthy habits. Your primary care provider can help you engage in positive nutrition and exercise habits. Some primary care practices, like Comprehensive Primary Care, now include registered dieticians to help patients make healthy choices.
- Mental health check. Your routine wellness visit is an excellent starting point for getting help if you experience mental health challenges. Your primary care provider can prescribe medications for anxiety and depression and help you find a mental health practitioner if you need additional support.
- Relationship building. Connecting with your primary care provider at routine checkups helps them get to know you and your health history. Wellness visits establish effective lines of communication with your provider and their practice. Establishing a relationship allows your provider to offer better treatment if you get sick. Routine care also helps you get to know your provider, making medical appointments easier and less stressful.
- Cost savings. Keeping up with routine care is a long-term money saver. Most insurance companies cover wellness visits, while sick visits may fall under a deductible. On a broader level, staying healthy saves money for individuals and society. Scheduling annual wellness visits can help prevent chronic illness and associated expenses.
Wellness Works at Comprehensive Primary Care
As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We’re all busy with work, parenting and life in general. However, making time for your health (even when you’re feeling fine) is the best way to stay healthy. Routine visits are essential to preventive care and can help us catch potential problems early. At Comprehensive Primary Care, our team of doctors, nurse practitioners and PAs believe that good health starts with excellent primary care. Annual checkups are part of our holistic “whole patient” philosophy, a chance to check in with our providers and get ahead of the curve on needed care. Wellness visits help us get to know you and your unique healthcare needs–and help you get to know our team. We’re ready to support you on your wellness journey.