June 13, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

Caregiver Stress

On any particular day, a doctor likely has approximately 20 patients to see – combined with phone calls, paperwork, and other administrative duties. That leaves very little time to spend with each patient, which explains why it is imperative to capitalize on that time and be sure you clearly comprehend the results of each appointment.

At Home Independent Living has care professionals that provide accompaniment for seniors to medical appointments. Our trained professionals recommend the following strategy:

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. With such a time crunch, your doctor may tend to communicate information to you rather quickly. It is your responsibility to hit the pause button to make sure you clearly understand everything that’s being explained and speak up with any questions you have, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant they may seem.
  2. Strategize in advance, including developing a list of questions to ask. It may be difficult to process everything being shared with you during the couple of minutes spent together with the doctor. Creating a list of inquires ahead of time will help guarantee nothing slips through the cracks. A few questions to consider include:
    • Exactly what are the long and short-term effects of my condition?
    • What could be the reason behind this disorder?
    • Is there a remedy?
    • Where could I find additional information?
    • Will I need any medical tests?
    • What are the possible adverse reactions from those tests?
    • When can I have the test results?
    • What treatments are out there to help with my health problem?
    • What are the potential adverse side effects of the drug treatments?
    • Are there any kind of lifestyle changes I should consider making?
  1. Take excellent notes. Bring along paper and a pen, or use the notes section of your smartphone or tablet to detail answers to your questions along with any other information the doctor provides. It may be beneficial to have a reliable family member or professional caregiver present throughout the appointment in order to make sure everything is recorded.
  2. Include other medical experts. Although the information provided by the doctor is vital, keep in mind that other professionals within the senior’s medical team can provide valuable insight as well: nurses, pharmacists, physician assistants, dieticians, physical therapists, etc. Check in with these professionals for extra help in carrying out the doctor’s guidelines and keep them updated on changes resulting from your visit to the doctor’s office.

Here at At Home Independent Living, we’re always available to assist older adults through medical appointments and procedures, as well as to help support doctors’ recommendations after returning home. We can provide  medication reminders, preparation of meals adhering to any prescribed dietary plan, and many other tasks to ensure the best possible health for seniors. Reach out to us at (315) 579-4663 for additional information about elder care in Syracuse, NY!