Preparing for Productive Doctor Visits for Seniors

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posted by Ted Ryan on June 09, 2015

The benefits of a good relationship with your doctor are universal. However, as age brings new conditions and treatments needing attention, it becomes even more important to talk often and comfortably with your doctor.

A good doctor-patient relationship should be a partnership, allowing open communication and understanding. The following tips will help you prepare for and get the most out of your doctor’s appointments:

List your concerns. Make a list of what you want to discuss. If you have numerous concerns, prioritize them and ask about the most important topics first.

Take information with you. Keep a list of all prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and herbal remedies or supplements that you take (and include dosage). Some people opt to keep them all in a bag and take them to the appointment.

Consider bringing a family member, friend or caregiver. Before the appointment, tell them what you hope to accomplish with the visit. This companion can help remember discussion points, take notes and help remember what the doctor said.

Be sure you can see and hear as well as possible. Many older adults require glasses or hearing aids. Make sure to bring and use them. Inform the doctor and staff of any helpful requests such as speaking up or slowly. If you miss something, ask them to repeat it or clarify.

Plan to update the doctor. Let them know what has happened since your last visit. Have you had any hospital visits or seen any specialists? Mention any changes in appetite, weight, sleep or energy level. This also includes any changes to medications.

A home care company, such as SHC, can be a great ally for productive doctor visits. SHC caregivers and case managers work closely to monitor and advocate for our clients’ health. In addition to transporting an individual to a doctor’s appointment, caregivers can take notes and act as an advocate during the appointment. We also maintain an up-to-date list of client medications.

If you would like to learn more about how SHC could help you or an elderly loved one, please contact us

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  1. Jordan


    June 15, 2015

    Great tips here! It’s so important that doctors visits be helpful for seniors. They need them more than ever, and definitely don’t need their time wasted by having unproductive visits. Thanks for sharing!

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