Helping Elderly Relatives Prepare for a Doctor Visit
It is not uncommon for senior citizens to begin skipping or missing medical appointments for numerous reasons. Lack of transportation, money, anxiety around illness and memory issues can all be contributing factors. Parents spend many years caring for children and, as they age, they may need the help of their children in getting the medical care they need to stay healthy. There are several ways family, friends and caregivers can assist seniors to ensure they make it to their medical appointments and arrive prepared.
On the Spot
Most of us can relate to forgetting something that we intend to mention during a doctor visit and for seniors this is especially true. All of us can get flustered when put on the spot but family members and caregivers can help remind patients of a pain they may have complained about earlier, or bring up things like memory issues, during a medical appointment. As an adult child it is alright to mention observations and ask questions during an appointment.
Getting Organized and Preparing
Gathering medical history and medications (including over-the-counter and prescription bottles), and making a list of any concerns, symptoms, pains and questions for the doctor prior to a visit, will help maximize the appointment time. Make sure the patient has proper ID, their health and medication coverage cards, and proper payment ready.
Being an Advocate
Accompanying a parent or other senior to the doctor provides a health advocate to ensure directions are understood and followed and making sure that any questions or concerns that were reviewed prior to the visit get addressed. Also, if there is need for follow-up, you can make sure it happens. Going to the doctor can be an intimidating experience for patients of all ages, having extra ears and eyes present can help the cause. And afterward, say on the drive home, is a good opportunity to review the visit and inquire if the patient is satisfied.
It is good to take this responsibility and any concerns regarding transportation to and from the doctor’s office or pharmacy off the patient’s plate altogether. Make sure your vehicle has gas, that you know the directions, where to park and how you will get the patient into the building. Also, make sure you know where the pharmacy is if medication is needed following the appointment.
Preventive Care and Lifestyle Concerns
Making the most of a doctor visit should not just be relegated to symptoms, illness and medication. You can support the patient by inquiring about preventive measures related to the patient’s condition and symptoms. Also, it is good to address any lifestyle changes or challenges that may be experienced as the result of illness or disease.
Family Medical Clinic Kendall is an inner-city health clinic in Miami. Treating families is our life’s work and passion. We treat you like family because we care about the residents who live in the community that is home to our clinic. Located at 9000 SW 137th Avenue, Suite 111, in Miami, we provide primary care services and also offer a walk-in clinic, a lab and diagnostics. Call us today (305) 603-7824.