Skip to main content

How to Help Seniors Make the Most of Doctors Visits

By January 9, 2019February 3rd, 2021No Comments
Joy Home Care | Atlanta Home Care

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.

Arrange transportation to and from appointments

Identify whether or not a companion is necessary for the visit

Check if the appointment or associated tests require seniors to contact their insurance company ahead of time for pre-certification or other purposes

Pack everything needed for a successful appointment:

Insurance cards
Photo ID
Payment for co-pays or other charges
Contact information for other doctors
List of current medications
List of allergies/medical conditions
Medical records, if needed
A list of questions for the doctor
A notepad or device for note-taking

Verify at checkout after the appointment:

If further testing or labs are required
When new prescriptions should be picked up
If there are instructions or treatment notes seniors can take home with them
When follow-up appointments are scheduled
If any payment is due
Joy Home Care | Atlanta Best Home Care

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


Joy Home Care | Atlanta Best Home Care
Joy Home Care | Atlanta Best Home Care
Atlanta Home Care | Joy Home Care

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.

John Stewart

Joy Home Care