Written by Mary Doepke
After weeks of hinting and pleading, you have finally convinced Dad to see a doctor. But when you ask him about the appointment, he remembers little about what the doctor told him.
This is a good sign that it’s time to start accompanying him to future appointments.
It’s a good idea for all of us, no matter our age, to have a third party accompany us to important medical appointments. But it is especially important for seniors to bring an extra set of ears to the doctor’s office. Hearing problems and memory issues can interfere with a senior’s ability to collect, understand and retain important information. Add to that the apprehension, nervousness and even embarrassment that comes with a doctor’s visit, and it isn’t hard to understand your loved one’s distraction.
Many older adults also tend to downplay their complaints, as well as the doctor’s diagnosis. Whether this is a matter of denial, a means of protecting loved ones from bad news, or a simple desire to retain privacy, it becomes important for loved ones to know the real story about an aging loved one’s health.
Following are some helpful tips for establishing yourself as part of your aging loved one’s healthcare team.
Before the appointment
If more help is needed, Home Helpers’ on-staff registered nurse can accompany seniors to their appointments, offer help and guidance in managing appointments and prescriptions, and report resulting health information to family members who cannot be there themselves.