Has this ever happened to you? Your loved one calls you numerous times complaining that he or she feels terrible, has pain that won’t go away, can’t sleep or has some other malady that is unbearable. You’re preparing for your doctor’s visit with them. But then they tell you ‘nothing is wrong.’ It’s one of the more frustrating aspects of caring for the elderly: Dealing with resistance.
Or, you make the appointment with their healthcare professional. You arrange your schedule so you can go with them. Only to have them say to the doctor, “It’s not that bad.”
Not only does the situation frustrate you (and perhaps the doctor) but the issue or issues do not get addressed. To get the most out of a visit to a healthcare professional, take time to prepare for your next visit to the doctor.
The “Doctor Visit Checklist” You Need:
- Before the visit-spend the time to write down what has been happening
- When did it start?
- Is it getting better? Worse? Staying the same?
- Describe when the symptoms occur- every morning? Some evenings? All the time?
- Describe how the symptom feels- pain so sharp I can’t stand up straight; I sleep only 3 hours each night, my stomach hurts an hour after I eat, etc.
- What makes the symptom better? What makes it worse?
- Medications– bring a complete, current list
- Falls– be truthful about any falls
- Many seniors hesitate to talk about falls because they don’t want to seem frail and they fear losing their independence
- Falling may indicate the need for a simple intervention: a physical therapy order, assistance getting rid of clutter on the floor, a medication change
- According to the CDC, 1 out of 3 older adults (over 65) falls each year but less than half talk to their healthcare providers about it
- 70% of accidental deaths in seniors are the result of falls
- Write down any questions you may have. It is very easy to forget to ask them! Preparing for your doctor’s visit ahead of time will help you and your loved one paint an accurate picture for your healthcare professional and help you get the answers you need. What has helped you get your senior ready for a medical appointment?
Seminars on How to Prepare for a Doctor’s Visit
Join us for a seminar on visiting a doctor with your loved one. If you can’t attend, bookmark our community calendar for future events.