Making the Most of Senior Doctor Visits
Haven’t we all opened the door to the doctor’s office and had our hearts drop at the sight of the crowded waiting room of patients, wondering how long we would need to wait, and how much quality time we might actually be able to get with the doctor once it was our turn?
With a staggering 87% of older adults struggling with at least one chronic health condition, senior doctor visits are an all-too-common occurrence. And with physicians so incredibly busy throughout the year, and even more so during cold and flu season, it’s beneficial to take a little time before medical appointments to plan out how to best maximize time with the doctor once we arrive.
Home & Hearth Caregivers’ Illinois in home care services team shares the tips below to help older adults and their family caregivers make the most of their time with the doctor, to improve overall wellbeing and to make sure all medical needs are fully met:
Before Each Appointment
Prior to your senior loved one’s next doctor’s appointment, put together a checklist of information you want to cover, such as:
- Anything that may have changed since the senior’s last appointment, such as any physical, emotional, appetite, sleep, or other changes.
- Particular questions you want to make sure you ask the doctor about his/her condition.
- A list of current prescriptions, OTC medications, vitamins, and supplements that your senior loved one is taking.
It’s also a good idea to keep an ongoing health diary for your loved one, so information is tracked and stored all together in one convenient location. Then, simply bring the log with you to each senior doctor appointment.
At the Appointment
When the doctor is ready to see your senior loved one, share with him or her any immediate concerns, along with the information you’ve pulled together as suggested above. Take notes on the doctor’s comments and recommendations, or ask for a printed copy of his or her notes, to make sure you remember everything that was discussed.
Also, ask the doctor for more information to help keep your senior loved one in the best possible health particular to his or her specific diagnosis. For example, the American Heart Association suggests the following questions to ask the doctor regarding heart health:
- What should the senior’s ideal cholesterol level be?
- Are there any particular foods he or she should eat?
- Are there any foods the senior needs to avoid or limit?
- What details are important to know about his or her prescribed medications? Side effects? Any possible interactions with other medications or supplements?
- How often should we check his or her blood pressure?
- Does the senior need to gain (or lose) any weight?
- Are there exercises you would recommend for the senior?
For more senior doctor visit tips, contact the Illinois in home care services experts at Home & Hearth Caregivers. We can share some free helpful resources, and a variety of individualized home care services for seniors, such as escorted transportation to medical appointments and procedures, running errands, picking up prescriptions, providing medication reminders, preparing healthy meals, and much more.
Contact us at 800-349-0663 to learn more about our senior home care solutions in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties in Illinois.