The Health Advice Seniors Ignore From Doctors, New Study



A new survey reveals some of the most common advice seniors ignore from doctors, shedding light on their evolving attitudes towards health and fitness. Let’s learn!

The Advice Seniors Ignore From Doctors

The findings reveal that a significant majority of seniors express regret about not prioritizing their health when they were younger, with approximately 86% indicating that they now take their health more seriously. Despite this newfound focus on health, a substantial portion of seniors, 46%, admit to not having specific fitness and health goals in place.

The study, commissioned by ClearMatch Medicare and conducted by OnePoll, further uncovers that while nearly 39% of seniors adopt a proactive approach to their health, only 32% promptly consult a doctor when they start to feel unwell.

Instead, some seniors choose to wait for symptoms to resolve on their own (22%), while others attempt to self-medicate (42%). Astonishingly, 81% of seniors acknowledge that their health could be improved, even though the average respondent engages in physical activity approximately five times per week.

In terms of fitness activities, 42% of seniors prefer exercising at home, while 24% opt for outdoor workouts, and 15% head to the gym. Walking is the most common form of exercise among seniors, with 71% choosing this activity. Additionally, 25% incorporate weight lifting, 20% engage in biking or running, and 19% practice yoga.

Approximately half of the surveyed seniors (51%) have set health or fitness-related goals in the past year, with success in areas such as exercising more frequently (43%), increasing water intake (34%), taking vitamins (28%), and improving sleep (15%).

Despite their health-conscious efforts, 14% of seniors admit to occasionally disregarding their doctor’s advice. The most commonly ignored recommendations include exercising regularly (21%) and maintaining a nutritious diet (16%). A smaller percentage neglects doctor appointments (13%) and consistent medication use (12%).

Ben Pajak, CEO of ClearMatch Medicare, emphasizes that it’s never too late for seniors to prioritize their health and underscores that many Medicare Advantage plans offer fitness benefits to support active lifestyles.

Currently, the average senior visits their doctor approximately three times a year. In the past, barriers such as fear of unfavorable health news (20%) and lack of motivation (18%) deterred some seniors from seeking medical attention. Notably, 30% of respondents now believe they would require fewer doctor visits if they had taken better care of their health earlier in life.

Despite the availability of fitness benefits through Medicare Advantage plans, the study reveals that 53% of enrollees do not utilize these offerings. Jennifer Girdler, Vice President of Sales, encourages seniors to maximize the extra benefits provided by these plans to support their health and well-being.

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