According to a leading medical workflow company, U.S. doctors spend an average of 13–28 minutes with patients during routine appointments. Because of time constraints like this, it can be helpful to prepare your aging loved one for a doctor’s appointment so he or she can get the most out of the time spent with a physician or specialist. Here are some tips to help you out.
Give Yourself Enough Time to Get Your Loved One Ready
If it normally takes a while to get your loved one ready to safely leave the home and get into the car, make sure you set aside enough time to do this so you’re not rushing your loved one. Also, allow time for traffic and weather to ensure you get to the appointment on time to further ease stress.
Arrive Early for Appointments
The general recommendation is to arrive about 15–20 minutes early for medical appointments. This can be especially beneficial if you’re taking your loved one to a doctor or specialist he or she has never seen before because your parent will likely need to fill out paperwork and submit insurance information. Arriving early also gives your loved one some time to relax and get comfortable.
If you’re unable to take your parent to the doctor yourself, a home caregiver can be a great resource. Centennial senior home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Get Everything Together Beforehand
For most doctor appointments, your loved one will need his or her health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid card. It’s also a good idea to call the doctor’s office a few days ahead of time to see if there are any other things you’ll need to take to the appointment. Such items might include:
• A list of medications currently being taken
• Hearing aids or other wearable devices if these items will need to be checked during the visit
• A journal in which you’ve tracked your loved one’s symptoms
• Glucose books if there’s a need to view blood sugar readings
Professional home caregivers can help seniors keep track of their medications as well as any new symptoms or changes in their health. Elderly home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Gently Remind Your Loved One about the Appointment
If your loved one has dementia or a similar condition that causes him or her to get easily agitated by changes in the daily routine, minimize the possibility of difficulties with gentle reminders. For instance, if the doctor appointment is in the afternoon, you can remind your loved one a few times that morning that he or she will be going to the doctor later. If your loved one gets agitated or anxious about the upcoming appointment, reassure him or her that you’ll be there and that he or she will be back home soon.
Put Together a List of Questions or Concerns
Because of time limitations, it’s easy for older adults to forget to bring up important details or questions during doctor appointments. Take some time a day or two before the appointment to sit down with your loved one and make a list of questions or concerns he or she wants to bring up during the visit. During the appointment, take notes so all instructions and recommendations can be clearly documented for later reference.
A home caregiver can help you maintain a detailed record of your loved one’s daily routine and note any issues the doctor should know about. For many seniors in Centennial, CO, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call (303) 957-3100 today.