Ease the Stress of Senior Medical Appointments and Procedures with These Tips
The facts are startling: a recent study conducted by the Annals of Family Medicine revealed that the average primary care doctor has a “panel” of more than 2,000 patients (that is, those who are under his or her care). Furthermore, the study showed that such a physician would be required to “spend 21.7 hours per day to provide all recommended acute, chronic and preventive care for a panel of 2,500 patients.
It’s no wonder that doctors, not to mention we as patients, often feel rushed and overwhelmed. With the need for so many senior medical appointments, procedures, and treatments due the various chronic diseases that are prevalent in aging, it’s more important than ever to be proactive in maximizing the time we have with our doctors.
In our previous blog post, we shared some information and questions to help you prepare in advance for senior medical appointments. To take it a step further, use the helpful checklist below with questions specific to two of the most comprehensive senior medical concerns: prescriptions and hospital procedures.
- Will Medicare or insurance cover the cost for my medication?
- Is there a generic form of the medication available?
- Are there side effects I might experience?
- How will I be able to tell if the medication is working?
- What happens if I forget to take a dose?
- Are there any medications or foods I should avoid while taking this medication?
- Should I refrain from drinking alcohol?
- How long should I take the medicine?
Hospitalization/Surgical Procedure Questions:
- When should I arrive at the hospital?
- What can I expect to happen prior to the surgery or procedure?
- How long should the procedure take?
- Where can my family wait for me during the procedure?
- What short-term and long-term effects will the procedure have?
- What prescriptions will I need to take?
- How long will it take to recover?
- What restrictions will I need to follow after the procedure?
Consider any additional questions you have related to your senior loved one’s specific needs, and add them to the list before his or her medical appointment or procedure. A little planning in advance can go a long way towards helping the senior feel more in control and less stressed about what is to come.
For more assistance in preparing for medical appointments and procedures for your senior loved one, and in maximizing time with the doctor, call Home & Hearth Caregivers, top providers of in home care for seniors in the greater Chicago area, at 800-349-0663.