Taking an elderly parent to the doctor can be a stressful experience. Your elderly parent may not be communicative and you may not know what questions to ask. You can help alleviate some of this stress by being prepared beforehand. It’s a good idea to keep a notebook with your questions about, and observations of, your elderly parent’s physical or mental changes since the last visit. Also, make sure you keep a list of the medications and past treatments for your elderly parent.
If you don’t feel comfortable or are too busy to take your elderly parent to the doctor yourself, you can hire a professional elderly caregiver to attend the doctor’s appointments with your loved one. Since they are highly trained in caring for the elderly in numerous situations, homecare agencies are ideal advocates.
If you plan on taking your elderly parent to the doctor yourself, here are some questions to ask the doctor about your elderly parent: Why is this new medication being prescribed, and what results can we expect? What physical, mental, or behavioral changes should I be documenting on a day-to-day basis? What blood work needs to be done and when (it’s important to regularly check levels of cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, thyroid, iron, etc.)? If a new medication is prescribed, what side effects can we expect? Will the new medication interfere with any of the medications my elderly parent is currently taking? Are there any types of food that should be avoided with the new medication? Can I have a copy of the medical tests and results to stay informed of any changes to my elderly parent’s medical care?
Those are a few of the important questions to ask your elderly parent’s doctor during each visit. You will, of course, have additional questions based on the specific condition of your elderly parent. Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to ask questions if you are unsure of anything. Any good doctor will take the time to answer all of your questions thoroughly and make your elderly parent feel comfortable about the medical care they are receiving.
Remember that it is also appropriate for you to schedule a separate doctor’s appointment (whether over the phone or in person) to discuss sensitive issues without your elderly parent present. No question is too embarrassing for a doctor, but it’s understandable if you feel uncomfortable discussing certain issues during a regular doctor’s visit with your elderly parent.
As previously discussed, you can also have a homecare agency accompany your elderly parent to his doctor’s visit. This takes the stress off of you and ensures that your loved one has an advocate asking all of the right questions.
Learn more about the many homecare services for an elderly parent by visiting www.CambrianHomecare.com or call 877.422.2270.