As the Family Caregiver, you will most likely be taking your senior loved one to doctor appointments frequently. Here are three steps you can take to be prepared and make each doctor's appointment successful.
Step 1: Clarify The Purpose
It is important for you and your loved one to have a clear question or issue in mind when you go to the doctor. While there is likely more than just one issue, try and focus on the most important to get clear answers and opinions from your doctor. Sit down with your loved one and ask them about their concerns, their symptoms and their problem areas and pinpoint the purpose of the appointment.
Here are some examples of questions to ask your loved one:
What is the main purpose of this doctor’s visit?
What changes in your health have you noticed since your last visit?
Do you have any new symptoms that you have not yet addressed with a doctor?
Are you currently in pain? If so, what is your pain level on a scale of 1 to 10?
Step 2: Organize The Medications And The Medical History
Another important step is to write a list of the medications your loved one is taking to help your doctor with medication management. A thorough and updated medication list is important to have at all times for instances such as doctor appointments and even more so during emergency situations. Doctors will find information such as the name of the prescription, the dose and any side effects that are experience very helpful when they are treating the patient.
Similar to medication management is a medical history background. This important document provides doctors with key information. Doctors will want to know about the patient’s past surgeries, allergies, family history and any other medical issues they have had in the past. A comprehensive list helps the doctor identify conditions that are caused by a previous issue and will use the information to diagnose a problem and for implementing a treatment plan.
Step 3: Ask The Right Questions
Asking the following questions while at your loved one’s doctor’s appointment will give you great information on your loved one's current health status and what to be aware of between appointments:
- Based on symptoms, does the doctor recommend any changes in current medications?
- Are any symptoms that are present common based on the medications being taken?
- Are there areas of concern that the doctor would like to follow up on?
- What are warning signs of a more serious problem or symptoms to watch out for?
- When does the doctor recommend an Emergency Room visit over a doctor’s appointment?
After The Appointment
After the appointment, make sure to update any medication changes and record the doctor’s answers to your questions to use as a reference.
We are here for you.
If you are a Family Caregiver who finds yourself asking questions about how to give the best care possible to your senior loved one, you will find answers at Freudenthal Home Health. Call us today at 816-387-8881 and arrange a free nurse evaluation and consultation. Our professionals provide a full array of first-class skilled Medicare and private duty services that support, strengthen, and simplify all aspects of your senior loved one's life at home.