Doctors and other medical professionals see scores of patients every single day, and even more during high-volume cold and flu seasons. As a result, many of us may feel rushed at our doctor visits, making it difficult to ensure that all of our questions are answered and concerns are addressed.
Maximizing your time at the doctor’s office is especially important in making sure older adults are receiving the best possible senior medical care. With a little pre-planning and preparation, you can help your senior loved ones make the most of their medical appointments. These tips can help.
Before the Appointment
Before heading out to the doctor’s with your senior loved one, note the following items to share at the appointment:
- Changes the senior has experience since his or her last appointment, to include any changes in appetite, sleep patterns, emotional state, physical differences, etc.
- Brainstorm and write down any questions your senior loved one has about his or her existing condition(s) or any other health issues.
- Put together a list of all of his or her current medications, vitamins, and supplements that are being taken, along with dosage amounts, days and times taken.
- Keeping a health diary is very helpful to document ongoing health issues and concerns, answers to previously asked questions, etc.
During the Appointment
Be sure to go over all of the questions and concerns you’ve listed out regarding the senior’s health, diet, medications, etc. while you have your doctor’s full attention. The American Heart Association has put together a list of questions to ask the doctor about heart health, including the following:
- What should my ideal cholesterol level be?
- What types of foods should I be eating? What foods should I stay away from or limit?
- What do I need to know about my medications? What are the potential side effects? Are there any interactions with other medicines, supplements, foods, alcohol, etc.?
- How often should I be checking my blood pressure?
- Should I try to lose or gain any weight?
- Considering my current health status, what types of exercises can I do?
Caregivers By WholeCare can help optimize senior medical care in a variety of ways – providing accompanied transportation to doctors’ appointments and other medical procedures, picking up prescriptions and running other errands, preparing healthy, delicious meals, and providing friendly companionship and socialization to reduce the risk of depression and other concerns, to name just a few. Contact the Nashville home care experts at Caregivers By WholeCare at (615) 298-9201 to learn more!