Why Knowing Your Family Health History Is So Important (And How to Track It!)

Many of us know that we can take charge of our health and manage our risk for conditions and diseases through getting enough exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet and not smoking. However, some of us don’t realize that our family health history can play an equally significant role in determining our risk level. Heart disease, diabetes, cancer and stroke are only some of the conditions that can be heavily influenced by genetics. Why is knowing your family health history so important, and how can you track it?

What Is Family Health History?

Family health history is a record of health information about you, your parents, your siblings and your other close relatives. A complete family health history involves records pertaining to the past three generations of your family, and ideally it would include information about brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, parents, grandparents and more. Because families share a genetic background in common, a family health history can give doctors hints as to what you might be experiencing or help them educate you about your risk factors. Keep in mind that a relative having a health condition does not mean that you will develop it. Instead, it’s a starting place.

Why Is Family Health History Important?

Many people have a family health history that indicates the genetic transmission of at least one disease or condition, like diabetes or heart disease. When our family members have these diseases with a known genetic component, it can mean that we are also more likely to get the disease. If you don’t know your family health history, you might be at an increased risk for a disease or condition and never know or have the chance to lower that risk through other lifestyle changes.

How Can You Track Family Health History?

The Surgeon General created a free tool where you can track your family health history. You can enter the information that you have about your relatives into the tool. When you are speaking with your loved ones in the process of creating the chart or health history, you should take care to note:

  • Medical conditions
  • Cause of death (if they are no longer here)
  • Age at disease diagnosis
  • Age of death (if they passed)
  • Ethnic background

The more complete that your health history is, the easier that it will be for your doctor to use it.

Know Your Health Risks with Senior Care Lifestyles

Senior Care Lifestyles specializes in connecting seniors with the right in-home care, assisted living, or senior living community to meet their needs. We have helped hundreds of clients and treat each senior as a valued member of our own family deserving our personalized attention, compassion and respect.

For help, or questions please call us at 410-977-3718 or send a message through our website www.seniorcarelifestyles.com.

Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Owner, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA®) & Assisted Living Placement Specialist - Senior Care Lifestyles, LLC provides compassion, guidance and recommendations to families faced with transitioning a loved one into Assisted Living, Dementia/Alzheimer’s Care, Skilled Nursing, Temporary Respite Care or a Continuous Care Retirement Community. Senior Care Lifestyles was founded in 2014 by Deborah Bakalich, a Certified Senior Advisor and graduate from both Towson University and Stevenson. Senior Care Lifestyles is uniquely positioned as a local (not National) Maryland based placement firm familiar with Maryland senior care facilities and in-state financial assistance programs for senior residents. They meet personally with each family to understand the seniors care needs including medical, personal lifestyle preferences, budget, religion and desired geographic location. They pride themselves in locally guiding and educating families through the entire maze of senior living options available and will schedule tours on behalf of the family and accompany the family on visits of communities. They are passionate and committed to finding the perfect match to call home and stays with the family throughout the entire process, every step of the way, until a decision is made, and the senior is safely moved into their new home. Senior Care Lifestyles can also provide the family with trustworthy, vetted, and reputable experts to assist with the transition for organizing, packing, moving, sale of real estate, estate planning, legal services, and determining eligibility for State, Federal and Veterans Benefits to assist with care costs. Deborah is a proud member of the Maryland Senior Resource Network (MSRN) where she has served as Vice President on the Board of Directors. She is a member of the Alzheimer’s Organization, Society of Certified Senior Advisors, Mid-Atlantic Network Group and a member of the Business Opportunity Network (BON).

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