Saturday, 11 May 2013

Life And Medical Care Services In Pennsylvania

As a responsible and caring head of a household, there are certain details about a city and state that are particularly important to consider before moving to settle there.  These details can be broken down in to several categories, such as the overall environment of the area, which takes into account the general lifestyle and people in the area, the weather and type of climate. Entertainment is another important category which is concerned with the proximity of outdoor activities as parks, mountains, rivers, and beaches as well as the local culture, festivals available and, for those young enough, a vibrant night life.  The neighborhood itself should also be carefully considered with an eye towards the type of housing available, and their proximity to things like grocery stores or restaurants. But above all, the biggest concerns about a new place to live should be around the basic public services and facilities like schools, libraries, and available medical services within the community.  These services and facilities are essential for ensuring a certain quality of life.

Let me share my story about how I considered all these factors and why I chose to relocate my family to Pennsylvania in order to enjoy my retirement years.  For those who know me, the choice of Pennsylvania may have come as a bit of a surprise. My family is traditionally from the South and I have quite a few medical issues that will require regular medical check-ups for the rest of my life.  Though my ailments are fortunately not serious ones like cancer or memory loss, I am a diabetic and suffer from high blood pressure.  In view of my advanced age, my doctors have recommended that I receive frequent and regular check-up sand stay on medication.  And because of these ailments I have to constantly measure my blood sugar as well as blood pressure and keep detailed records of these measurements.  The small town I’m from offered only limited medical resources to help take care of my conditions.  For my minor ailments, the choice was either the emergency room, or the one primary care doctor in town.  The emergency room constantly had extremely long waits, just to be taken back to a room and wait even longer.  I can understand that other, more serious issues were treated first, but my entire day would be wasted waiting on my treatment.  The primary care doctor in town was wonderful and knew my history, but as the only doctor in town, he had a long list of patients, and getting a same or next day appointment for those times when my issues flared up was out of the question. 

I think by now you might have guessed one of the major reasons why I opted to relocate to Pennsylvania for my post retirement life.  In addition to offering a fantastic mix of outdoor activities and modern city life, Pennsylvania is also known to have a number of excellent healthcare resources for older Pennsylvanians with facilities like modern urgent care clinics in almost every city and borough throughout the state. When researching the medical resources available in places to live, I came across the urgent care concept and immediately knew that it could help me with my issues.  Rather than having to wait several days for an appointment with a primary care doctor, or spend all day waiting in an emergency room, urgent care centers offer walk-in appointments for urgent, but non-life-threatening issues.  The doctors typically have experience in an emergency room, which means they’re well trained to take care of almost any urgent issue and the caring, courteous staff that I’ve encountered make for a much friendlier environment than a sterile ER.  Never once have I felt that the level of care I received wasn’t of the highest standards.  Making sure there are appropriate medical facilities during my travels is also important to me and I even had the occasion to visit a walk-in clinic in Gettysburg when I went to view the site of the Civil War battle. 

This is not to say that there aren’t a full set of medical services available in Pennsylvania.  There are plenty of emergency rooms available but they are no different from others I have visited. They are literally packed with people who are suffering from major and serious problems and you must endure the typical piles of paperwork just to have a 5 minute visit with a doctor. Pennsylvania also has significantly more medical specialists than my hometown, so I feel comfortable knowing that if I develop any further serious medical issues as I age that I will be able to find treatment.  However, for the moment, knowing that an urgent care center is available to provide quick treatment whenever needed is quite comforting.  And while receiving quality medical care was the primary factor in my decision to move, other people will love the history of the state, the beautiful scenery and all the outdoor activities.  For all of these reasons, I have greatly enjoyed living here in Pennsylvania.

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