If you are a caregiver for an senior individual, visiting the doctor is often a difficult situation. You need to brace yourself for what the doctor has to say and you need to be a strong support for the person you are caring for too. And since this is easier said than done, below are a few tips that may help you to be a supportive ally:
- Take a list of questions along with you, starting right from the most important one to you and the person you are caring for. Also make sure to take notes of whatever the doctor recommends and advices. Ask the person beforehand about how you can help him/her during the visit and and hand over the information you have written to another caregiver of a family member and gently advice and remind your patient about what the doctor said.
- Before going for the appointment, ask your patient and other caregivers if they have any questions or concerns that you should talk about to the doctor.
- Don’t forget to bring a list of all the medicine and dietary supplements that your patient is taking and include the prescriptions together with the schedule and dosage. Since many older people often see several different doctors, it is better to keep all the prescriptions in an orderly fashion so it will all be clear to the doctor you are visiting.
- Whenever the doctor asks a question, allow the person to answer unless when you are required to do so.
- While it’s always easier to get into a two-way conversation between yourself and the doctor, try as much as you can to avoid this. Make sure to include both, the one you care for and the doctor when you talk.
- It is of utmost important to respect an individual’s privacy so when it is necessary, leave the room and allow the one you are caring for and the doctor to speak freely about certain issues.
- If you’re out of town, make it a note to talk to the doctor about how you can stay up to date about the person’s health since you are living out of town.
- If there are helpful community resources, the doctor will be the first one to know so make sure that you inquire about this too.
- Since larger hospitals, medical practices and nursing home usually have a social worker on staff, he/she may have some helpful and valuable suggestions about community resources and other such information so get in touch with them too.