We have all stepped into the doctor’s office and felt our hearts sink at the crowd of patients who were also waiting to be seen, wondering how long it would take before it was our turn, and just how much quality time we would be able to have with the medical practitioner once we were seen.
With an excess of 87% of older adults diagnosed with at least one chronic health disease, senior doctor visits are often necessary. And since doctors are so busy all through the year, and even more so in the midst of cold and flu season, it is important to be proactive and to have a plan in place in advance of appointments to make the best use of time during healthcare visits.
Heaven at Home Senior Care’s home care team shares the following suggestions to help older adults take full advantage of their time at the doctor’s office, to enhance overall health and wellness, and to confirm that all of their medical needs are fully addressed:
Before Each Appointment
Prior to the next doctor’s appointment, create a checklist of details you want to be sure to cover, including:
- Anything that might have changed since the previous appointment, including any physical, emotional, sleep, eating, or other changes.
- Specific questions you want to remember to ask the doctor.
- An updated list of all prescription medications, OTC medications, vitamins, and supplements that the senior is taking.
It’s also a good idea to maintain a health journal for the senior, so information is tracked and stored in one convenient location. You can then bring the journal with you to each healthcare appointment.
Throughout the Appointment
Once the senior is brought back to see the doctor, share any urgent concerns, as well as the details you’ve compiled as noted above. Take notes regarding the doctor’s responses to your concerns, or request a printout of this information, to make sure nothing falls through the cracks later.
It is a great idea to also ask the doctor for extra information on the senior’s specific condition. For instance, the American Heart Association has put together the following list of questions to ask the doctor pertaining to heart health:
- What is the ideal cholesterol level for the older person?
- Are there specific foods they should eat?
- Are there any foods they need to avoid or limit?
- What information is important to know about prescribed medications? Side effects? Any possible interactions with other medications or supplements?
- How often should blood pressure levels be taken?
- Should the senior lose (or gain) any weight?
- What is a good exercise regimen for the older adult?
For more senior doctor visit tips and support with professional home care, contact the Argyle home health care team at Heaven at Home Senior Care. We can share free helpful resources and provide a wide range of individualized home care services to improve senior health, such as transportation and accompaniment to doctors’ appointments and procedures, picking up prescription medications, providing medication reminders, planning and preparing nutritious meals, and much more. Call us at (940) 380-0500 to learn more about our Argyle home health care and services in surrounding areas.