What Are Serious Medical Issues for Your Parents and How Can You Prepare for Them?

May 31, 2019

Parents give their family a sense of security and direction, making things easier for everyone, especially their children. They tirelessly share and give their best to their children. Life without the guidance of parents could change the way you think, how you view things or decide.

As responsible adults between the age of 30 to 40, you should start thinking about your parents’ future health needs by securing health care insurance for them while they are still young and healthy. Illnesses may start as soon as they reach their senior years, and it's best to be prepared ahead of time.

Heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, cancer and pneumonia are only a few of the killer diseases in the Philippines. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, 1,561 people die every day, with 12.7% of these deaths due to heart disease, 10.4% due to cancer, and 9.9% due to pneumonia.

The most common cancers in the Philippines are cervix and breast cancer for women while prostate cancer for men and; colon cancer for both men and women.

As a person gets older, the more complicated their illnesses become. More often than not, these illnesses need immediate hospital care, and this care can often become expensive. In an ordinary private hospital, it would cost a patient Php450/day for a service ward, Php1000/day for a semi-private room or Php1000/day for a private room all with food inclusions while ICU room only costs Php1500/day.

POPCOM said in a press statement that “by year-end 2018 there will be 8,013,059 Filipinos over 60, constituting 8.2% of Filipinos. Of this group, 5,082,049 will be 65 and older. Most countries are considered ageing if they have at least 7% of the population over 65 years old.”

Surely, this number of ageing Filipinos will continue to grow, thus meaning that the need for quality senior health insurance will also rise. It is of great advantage that the government has launched programs for senior citizens in the Philippines such as free vaccination against pneumonia and influenza, and Philhealth coverage which is mandatory and automatically covers them in accredited healthcare facilities within the country. But, how many hospitals in the Philippines are Philhealth accredited? Not all. That’s why having additional medical insurance for senior citizens in the Philippines should be your top priority.

If you have parents who are 50 years and older, here are the 5 things that you need to consider in order to help you prepare for major illnesses and save your pocket from expensive hospitalization costs:

  1. Healthier lifestyle - Filipinos sometimes think old age means being less active and productive, and that it gives them the privilege to eat whatever they want because. Thus, as children, you need to watch over your parents' diet and activities.

    Make sure that they get to eat more fruits and vegetables and walk at least 5-10 minutes daily. Keeping a healthy weight contributes a lot to your parents’ total wellness as extra weight may increase their risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and bone problems.

    Remember, it is costly to have health issues in the Philippines. Do the best you can to keep your parents in their best shape. Otherwise, you and your family may be faced with many medical and financial challenges in the future.

  2. Regular checkups - Checkups such as mammograms, pap smears, pelvic exams, blood tests, ECGs, and colorectal exams are a few of the most important preventive health measures that seniors should take. You should also check regularly if they have low or high blood pressure.

    Even if you think your parents look fine, be proactive in monitoring any changes in their body, mood or appetite. There are also other ways you can look after your parents' health. For example, pneumonia vaccines are given for free by the Department of Health for 60 years and above. Check with your local health centers regarding the schedule of free vaccination and other senior citizen benefits.

    Not all procedures and medicines are covered by senior citizen benefits, however. That's why it's important to make sure you have health insurance that covers your parents' other health needs, as these may eventually grow more costly as the years go by.

  3. Maintenance medicines - Maintenance medicines can help older people increase their quality of life and health. Without maintenance medicines to counteract lifestyle or age-related diseases, senior citizens may end up facing more health challenges.

    Older people tend to take more daily medication because they are more likely to have more than one chronic medical disorder, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or arthritis. Maintenance medicines are used long-term, and the costs can get steeper over the years. Part of the government health care services in the Philippines includes a 20% discount on senior citizens medicines. However, for many families, the out-of-pocket payments for medical procedures that are not covered by government subsidy can be prohibitive.

  4. Safe home - In a typical Filipino home setting, the elderly live with their family. So, if you are working, ensure that there is someone you trust who will look after them the whole time you are not around. Older people have reduced mobility and are more vulnerable to falls, so it's important to make your home safe to decrease their risk of injury.

    Here are some additional home safety tips to keep your elderly parents safe at all times: do not put wax on the floor, let them wear comfortable/non-slippery footwear, remove any obstacles from the floor, provide proper lighting in the house, give them whistle or bell that they can ring in case they need help, etc.

    Falls can be incredibly dangerous for senior citizens due to their reduced bone mass. In the event of a fall, doctors may require hospitalization, which can get costly without the right insurance.

  5. Insurance - Insurance provides inner peace knowing that should anything bad happens, you know that your family will be well taken care of.

    Ageing parents are more prone to getting sick and injury. Treatment for serious illnesses is highly expensive, so some families can be caught off guard with the high cost of hospitalization. You can be prepared by getting the best option and having the right plan - because your parents deserve quality yet affordable health insurance that is suited for their future medical needs.

    If you are in search of senior health insurance, Paramount Direct offers health products such as the PrimeCare Cash Plan for individuals from 50 to 75 years old. This product is designed to provide daily cash assistance for regular, ICU and surgical confinements. All benefits are directly paid to the insured, thus helping you manage your family’s expenses or finances. Health insurance premiums start at as low as Php213/month.

    The PrimeCare Cash Plan also covers your parents even when they are outside the Philippines for a short vacation. Plus, their acceptance is guaranteed no matter what their health condition is.

    Treat your elderly parents with love and understanding. Make their lives happier and more memorable, with lesser things to worry about. Start your hassle-free application by clicking the button below, or visiting our website at www.paramountdirect.com for more details.