On any given day, a physician usually has approximately 20 patients to see – combined with phone calls, paperwork, and other administrative duties. It leaves precious little time spent with each person, which explains why it’s crucial to optimize that time and ensure you clearly understand the results of each visit.
At Midnight Sun Home Care, our caregivers provide transportation and accompaniment for seniors to visits with their primary care doctor and other medical specialists, and recommend the following strategy:
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. With such a time crunch, your doctor may tend to communicate information to you rather quickly. That’s why it’s your responsibility to hit the pause button to make sure you clearly understand everything that is being said and to speak up with any questions you may have, regardless of how tiny or seemingly insignificant you may think they are.
- And, plan beforehand for those questions. It is often tricky to process everything being shared with you in the few minutes spent together with the doctor. Developing a list of inquires beforehand will help guarantee nothing slips through the cracks. A few questions to consider include:
- Exactly what are the long and short term outcomes of my condition?
- What may be the cause of this problem?
- Is there a treatment?
- Where is it possible to obtain further resources?
- Will I need any medical tests?
- Are there any kind of possible side effects from those tests?
- When will I have the test results?
- What treatments are available to help with my health problem?
- What are the possible complications of these drug treatments?
- Are there changes in lifestyle I ought to look into making?
- Take comprehensive notes. Bring along paper and a pen, or utilize the notes section of your smartphone or tablet, and detail answers to your questions in addition to any other information the physician provides. It can also be helpful to have a reliable family member or professional caregiver present during the appointment to help make sure all the details are understood.
- Include other medical experts. Bear in mind that although the instructions supplied by the doctor are vital, other people involved in the senior’s medical team can provide important insight as well: nurses, pharmacists, physician assistants, dietitians, physical therapists, etc. Check in with these professionals for further assistance with carrying out the doctor’s guidelines if warranted.
At Midnight Sun Home Care, we’re always available to help older adults through medical appointments and procedures in many ways, and also to help carry out doctors’ recommendations after returning home. We are able to provide transportation, medication reminders, preparation of meals that are in adherence with any prescribed dietary plan, and lots of other tasks to ensure the best possible health for older adults. Reach out to us at (907) 677-7890 for more information on the companionship for seniors Anchorage, AK families trust!