We’ve all walked into the doctor’s office and felt overwhelmed at the mass of patients also waiting to be seen, wondering how long it would be before it was our turn, and just how much quality time we might be able to have with the medical professional once we were seen.
With as many as 87% of older adults living with at least one chronic health disease, senior doctor visits are often necessary. And since doctors are extremely busy all through the year, and even more so during the course of cold and flu season, it is important to think ahead and have a plan in place prior to appointments to best maximize time during medical care visits.
Harmony Home Health & Hospice’s experts in home health in Albuquerque and surrounding areas shares the following suggestions to help seniors get the most from their time at the doctor’s office, to improve overall health and well-being and confirm that all of their healthcare needs are fully met:
Prior to Each Appointment
Prior to the older person’s next medical appointment, create a checklist of details you want to be sure to cover, including:
- Anything that may have changed since the last appointment, including any physical, mental, sleep, eating, or other changes.
- Specific questions you want to keep in mind to ask the doctor.
- An updated list of all prescriptions, OTC medicines, vitamins, and supplements that the senior is taking.
It is also a good idea to keep a health journal for your senior loved one, so information is tracked and stored in one handy location. You can then bring the journal with you to each doctor visit.
Throughout the Appointment
Once the senior is brought back to see the doctor, share any pressing concerns, as well as the details you’ve gathered as outlined above. Take notes about the doctor’s responses to your concerns, or ask for a printout of this information, to be sure nothing falls through the cracks later.
It’s a great idea to also ask the doctor for extra information on the older adult’s specific health concerns. For example, the American Heart Association has created the following list of questions to ask the doctor about heart health:
- What is the ideal cholesterol level for the senior?
- Are there particular foods they should eat?
- Are there any foods they should avoid or limit?
- What information is important to know about prescribed medicines? Side effects? Any potential interactions with other medicines or supplements?
- How often should blood pressure levels be taken?
- Should the older person lose (or gain) any weight?
- What is a good exercise routine for the older adult?
For more elderly doctor visit tips and support with professional home health care, contact Harmony Home Health & Hospice’s experts in home health in Albuquerque and surrounding communities. We can provide you with free helpful resources, and provide a broad range of personalized home health care, therapy, and other specialty services to improve senior health. Contact us at 1-877-I-NEED-CARE to learn more.