If you are a caregiver for a senior family member, chances are doctor visits are part of your regular routine. For the comfort of your loved one as well as your own convenience, it is helpful to have a practical plan in place to makes these visits go smoothly.
5 Tips for Preparing a Senior for a Physician Visit
Here are a few tips that will help your loved one’s next doctor visit be a positive experience:
- Consider transportation and parking. Think about the accessibility of the doctor’s office. What mode of transportation is best to get you and your senior there? If you’ll be driving, how easy is it to find parking? And once parked, is it a long walk to the office door? If your loved one needs help walking, you might find it easier to hire a taxi or ask a friend to drop you both off.
- Keep insurance cards and other medical info handy. It’s easy to forget things when you’re in a rush. Keep insurance cards and other necessary paperwork, such as a list of prescriptions, in a folder and put it near the door the morning of your appointment. Then you can easily grab it on your way out. Missing insurance cards can delay service and cause problems with billing in the future.
- Prepare a list of questions. Don’t rely on memory when it comes to asking the doctor questions about your loved one’s health and well-being. White coat syndrome can affect not only patients, but also their caregivers. If you’ve ever felt tongue-tied during a doctor’s visit, a checklist with questions, comments, and concerns will help you stay on track. Make it a point to leave each doctor’s appointment with the answers you need.
- Remind the physician of any changes in lifestyle or circumstances. A person’s well-being also includes emotional health. Be sure to give their physician the entire story behind your senior’s current state. Has there been a death in the family? Did he or she recently move from the family home into an assisted living community or a family member’s house? Important life changes, whether positive or negative, can have an effect on a person’s health. Keep the doctor in the know so that he or she has the full picture of your senior’s current state of well-being.
- Be proactive about your loved one’s health. As a caregiver, it’s important to be proactive about your senior family member’s health. Ask the doctor for their assessment of your loved one’s well-being, but remember also to inquire how to help them stay healthy in the future.
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