As a Care Manager, I accompany our clients to physician appointments and update families with any changes related to the client’s health care. I have found that when my client and I are prepared, the appointment is more productive and the physician is appreciative. For adult children or other family members who manage their loved one’s health care, this process can be both stressful and time consuming. These suggestions can reduce that stress and increase the usefulness of each visit to the doctor.
Discuss with your loved one the following questions prior to their physician visit:
- What is your main health concern right now?
- Do you have any new symptoms, such as pain?
- What changes have you noticed in your health since your last visit?
- If you currently take medication for pain or any other symptom, how is it working?
- Have you started any new medications? What are they? Do you have any side effects from the medicines you take?
Additional steps to take when accompanying your elderly loved one to the doctor include:
- Bring a list of current medications.
- Bring a list of other physicians being seen and include any pertinent information from those other visits.
- Bring your questions with space for answers or the plan as you discuss issues with the physician.
Keeping notes about all physician visits in one place, such as in a medical diary, can both reduce stress and improve the effectiveness of your loved one’s overall health care.
Home Care Solutions Director, and Aging Life Care Manager Cathy Puett, LCSW,CMC has been providing Care Manager services with Home Care Solutions for over seven years. Cathy has worked as a medical and psychiatric social worker for 24 years with a focus on gerontology.