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Seniors blog

Visiting with my 81-year-young mother in her golden years
Friday, June 05, 2009 | Marsha Dolan

The other day I was visiting with my 81-years-young mother. Like many others her age, she has a few chronic illnesses, such as hypertension and diabetes and some short-term memory loss. Recently, she also had to start using insulin to control her diabetes. She and my father spend a significant amount of time driving to and from doctor appointments and trying to deal with insurance and medications and testing. She expressed her feelings of frustration when she said, “our golden years aren't so golden anymore.” 

Maybe you also have that same thought or have expressed that same feeling to someone you love.

Aging affects each of us differently, but for most, making more than an annual trip to the physician, taking multiple medications, and monitoring our blood pressure and blood sugar have become part of our daily routine.

Did you know that writing down what the doctor tells you, keeping track of your medications, blood pressure, etc. can actually help you improve your health? Becoming a team player with your healthcare provider will help you adhere to a treatment plan that provides health benefits. Keeping track of all your healthcare data can be a challenge, but we want to provide you with information about how best to save and maintain your information so you can reap the rewards of being a smarter healthcare consumer.

As health information management professionals, Heidi Shaffer, RHIA, Long Term Care Coordinator and Health Services Project Manager for the County of San Diego, and I (Marsha Dolan) work closely with personal health records (PHRs). And we want to help you start a PHR and maintain it in a way that makes sense to you. We will help guide you through the development process and maintenance of your PHR with weekly tips, stories, and news.

By Marsha Dolan, MBA, RHIA, Coordinator of the Health Information Technology Program at Missouri Western State University, St. Joseph, MO

Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, aging

About This Blog

PHRs are still fairly new to the healthcare system, and we understand that as healthcare consumers, you have questions about the benefits and risks of keeping a PHR. For this reason, we provide a communication forum – the Seniors’ Blog – to connect you with health information management professionals for tips and advice on creating and maintaining your own PHR. This section of also provides resources and educational material about PHRs to answer some of your questions and help you determine if a PHR is right for you.

Blog Contributors

Marsha Dolan, Valerie Watzlaf, Cindy Boester, Heidi Shaffer, Julie Wolter, Margaret Hennings, Colleen Goethals, Vera Rulon, Leah Grebner, Robert Caban, Mynilma Olivera-Vazquez, Amanda Bushey, Margie Kelly, Donna DuLong, Sarah Dietze, Valisha McFarlane, Maria Kovell, Ted Eytan, Leann Reynolds, Laura Heuer, Kristin Stewart, Derek Allen, Chris Matthies, Margo Corbett, Craig Newmark, Sarah Buelterman, Skyler Tanner, Aniruddha Malpani, Joan Malling, Marilyn McFarlane, Megan Rooney, Patrick Rhone, Dr. Carrie Nelson, Maria Bouselli, Erin Jordan


PHRs do more than manage medication. Stay up to date with information that can help you communicate with your doctor and stay out of the hospital.

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