Preparing Seniors for Doctor Visits
Sometimes just getting to the doctor visit with your aging loved one is challenging, furthermore while you are there it is important to understand and implement the medical advice you receive from your provider.
Aging involves changes in health, physical ability, and medical risks. On average, older adults in the US tend to be in a healthcare setting about 17 days a year (that’s nearly 5% of the year). Given how common (and often necessary) it is for seniors to interact with doctors, it is important to help seniors navigate doctor visits well. (Forbes)
A Start-to-Finish Doctor Visit Checklist
For many seniors, doctor’s visits are stressful. Use this checklist to help ease anxiety.
How to Help Seniors Advocate for Themselves
Often, seniors feel nervous or powerless when in healthcare settings. Encourage seniors to attend their appointments confidently and to speak up for themselves. Remind seniors to:
- Bring glasses or hearing aids if necessary to support effective communication
- Prepare to share what has been going on in their lives and to ask questions
- Ask for directions, diagnoses, and notes about the appointment in writing
- Get a second opinion if they are uncomfortable or unsure of something a doctor says
- Take a family member or close friend for support if self-advocacy is challenging for them
TIP: Help seniors who are active online to understand that the Web does not have a medical degree. While medical information can be helpful to reference and understand more about health, only professionals with education and training should make diagnoses and prescribe treatments.