If you’re planning on taking your senior loved one to an upcoming doctor’s appointment, you might be feeling nervous. Preparing ahead of time is the best way for the appointment to go smoothly. Here’s how.
1. Keep a Health Log
Long before your loved one’s appointment is scheduled, start keeping a health log. Keep it in a convenient location and ask other caregivers to use it to document your loved one’s health on a daily basis. This log should contain information about how your loved one is feeling, side effects of any medications, and any changes that are observed. For example, if your loved one seems tired or has swelling, it may not seem like a big deal. But if the log shows it’s been happening for weeks, the doctor can see it’s regularly occurring and take action.
A professional home caregiver can help you keep track of any new symptoms or changes in your parent’s health. In-home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
2. Write Down All Medications
Make a list of every medication your loved one takes. This should include all prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Write down the name of the medication, the dosage, and how often it’s taken. Ask the doctor to look over the list for any potential negative interactions among your loved one’s medicines.
3. Leave Early
A visit to the doctor can be stressful, and running late can add to this stress. Plan on starting early to make sure you have everything your loved one needs for the appointment. He or she should wear comfortable clothing, and it might be helpful to bring something to keep him or her occupied in the waiting room, such as a good book or a crossword puzzle. Leave early in case you run into any last-minute issues or heavy traffic.
4. Get Copies of Health Records Ahead of Time
Your loved one has the right to have copies of his or her health records. These can be extremely helpful when visiting different doctors and medical facilities. Get summaries of doctor visits, labs, X-rays, and other test results, and keep these records in a personal file dedicated to your loved one’s health so they’re ready to take with you to your loved one’s appointment.
5. Get Your Vehicle Ready
Make sure your vehicle is in good working condition, has room for all your loved one’s needs, and is comfortable and clean. For example, if your loved one uses a walker or wheelchair, make sure there’s enough space in your vehicle for that item. Put the healthcare file, some water, and snacks in a safe crate in the vehicle.
If you’re unable to take your parent to the doctor yourself, a home caregiver can be a great resource. Tucson home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
6. Make a List of Questions
The doctor’s office is no place to try and remember the questions about your loved one’s health that have been bothering you for the last few weeks. As you think about them, write them down, and leave a space under each one. Bring the list to the appointment and write down the answers in the blank spaces. It’s easy to forget the answers to your questions after a stressful appointment.
A home caregiver can help you maintain a detailed record of your loved one’s daily routine and note any issues the doctor should know about. For many seniors in Tucson, AZ, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness. Call us at (520) 276-6555 today to talk to one of our compassionate Care Managers about our high-quality home care services.