HarborChase is a senior living community that values the quality of life of seniors and we’re always trying to improve our residents’ experience. We know that when seniors go to their doctor appointments, it can be hard to keep up with all of the things that need to be mentioned during your loved one’s visit. It’s common for people to become overwhelmed with the series of appointments that seniors require.
We want to provide a few tips that will help you and your loved one improve future clinical experiences. With the help of these tips, the senior in your life will be able to come prepared, learn about how their visits should work, and be able to interact with their physician to better understand their health.
Before you head out to the appointment, it’s important to consider what you’ll need to bring with you. Frequently, the doctor’s office will require documentation to prove your loved one’s identity, insurance information, as well as any medical history that’s worth sharing. If you’re unsure what is relevant, it may be best to bring it just in case you’re asked about it. It’s also important to note any specific symptoms or characteristics you are noticing in your loved one so you can discuss your concerns with the doctor.
You can also call the office that you’re planning on going to and ask them all of the information they’ll need when you arrive. Make a list and begin to collect the items into one place, so they’re ready when the time comes. The things you’ll need to bring may change from doctor to doctor, so it’s best to ask before arriving at a new doctor’s office.
Learn About the Office
If your loved one is attending an appointment at an unfamiliar office, it may be beneficial to learn about the office and how it operates on a daily basis. Some offices are open later in the day because they want to accommodate working people, while other offices close early in the afternoon. It’s better to call ahead and know what the hours are before you and your loved one decide which office best accommodates your schedules. It’s also good to ask their check-in process so you can better prepare your loved one for the exact paperwork they will need when first greeted.
Because your loved one will likely need to attend several offices simultaneously, you can make a list of all the physicians they see, as well as the hours of operation for that office. Doing so will allow you to plan your week accordingly and squeeze in appointments when it fits your loved one’s schedule. It will also help you to prioritize the order of importance for each specialty doctor.
Don’t Take Over
When your loved one is struggling to hear what the doctor is saying, or they’re arguing the doctor’s opinion, it can be tempting to interrupt and take over the appointment for the sake of time. Unfortunately, doing this not only hurts your loved one’s chance to manage their health, and will also make your loved one feel unheard when it comes to their body. Although your loved one may be more difficult to communicate with, it’s essential to allow them to ask the questions they’re concerned about.
When your loved one takes control of the appointment, it not only allows them to ask questions, but it also gives them a sense of independence that can make a significant difference in their life. Be patient and only step in when you’re asked to if you would like to avoid conflict. Remember, your loved one also values their health and the more they agree and see the importance of what the doctor says, the more likely they will follow their instructions.
It’s essential to come prepared and stay knowledgeable about your loved one’s care. At HarborChase, our care teams provide support and care to your loved one around the clock. If you’re interested in the senior care services offered at HarborChase, please contact us!