We’ve all stepped into the doctor’s office and felt our hearts sink at the mass of patients also waiting to be seen, wondering how long it will be before it’s our turn, and how much quality time we’ll actually be able to have with the doctor once we are seen.
With upwards of 87% of seniors diagnosed with at least one chronic health condition, senior doctor visits are frequently necessary. And since doctors are so busy throughout the entire year, and even more so during cold and flu season, it’s important to be proactive and have a plan in place prior to appointments to best maximize time during medical care visits.
Visiting Angels’ Fremont home health care team shares the following tips to help seniors make the most of their time at the doctor’s office, to improve overall health and wellbeing and confirm that all of their medical needs are fully addressed:
Before Each Appointment
Prior to your senior loved one’s next doctor’s appointment, put together a checklist of information you want to be sure to cover, including:
- Anything that may have changed since the last appointment, including any physical, emotional, sleep, appetite, or other changes.
- Particular questions you want to remember to ask the doctor.
- An up-to-date listing of all prescriptions, OTC medications, vitamins, and supplements that your senior loved one is currently taking.
It’s also helpful to keep a health journal for your senior loved one, so information is tracked and stored in one convenient location. You can then bring the journal with you to each doctor visit.
During the Appointment
Once your senior loved one is called back to see the doctor, share with the physician any pressing concerns, as well as the information you’ve pulled together as outlined above. Take notes on the doctor’s responses to your questions, or request a printout of this information, to be sure nothing falls through the cracks later.
It’s a good idea to also ask the doctor for additional information on keeping your senior loved one in the best of health specific to his or her condition. For instance, the American Heart Association has put together this list of questions to ask the doctor regarding heart health:
- What is the ideal cholesterol level for the senior?
- Are there certain foods he or she should eat?
- Are there any foods he or she needs to avoid or limit?
- What information is important to know about prescribed medications? Side effects? Any potential interactions with other medicines or supplements?
- How often should blood pressure checks be taken?
- Should the senior lose (or gain) any weight?
- What’s a good exercise regimen for the senior?
For more senior doctor visit tips and assistance with professional in-home senior care, contact the Fremont home health care team at Visiting Angels. We can provide you with free helpful resources, and a wide range of personalized home care services to improve senior health, including transportation and accompaniment to medical appointments and procedures, picking up prescriptions, providing medication reminders, preparing healthy meals, and much more. Call us at 510-284-0000 to learn more. Check out our full service area.