The National Institute on Aging estimates 85 percent of adults over the age of 65 have at least one chronic health condition, and 60 percent have two or more conditions. If your older loved one is in the majority of seniors with chronic health conditions, he or she will need to be seen regularly by medical professionals. Getting your loved one ready for doctor appointments takes some time and patience, but it can be a pleasant experience for both of you if you follow these tips.
Prepare Ahead of Time
Take the time to prepare for your loved one’s appointment by gathering and writing down all the necessary information. This will make the check-in process go smoothly and help your loved one’s doctor provide the best medical care. This information includes:
- Medical insurance information and cards
- Identification cards
- List of all current prescriptions, including names and dosages
- List of all medical providers and their contact information
- Questions you or your loved one may have regarding medical conditions, care, or prescription instructions
Home caregivers can help families maintain detailed records of their loved ones’ daily routines and note any issues their doctors should know about. Senior 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.
Arrive at Your Parent’s Home Early
If you’re taking your loved one to the appointment, arrive at his or her home early. This is a good time to check on your loved one and the home to look for signs of self-neglect. Check medications to ensure your parent is taking them correctly. If you have any concerns, make sure to write them down and talk with your loved one and the medical provider about them.
Help your loved one get ready for the appointment by assisting with personal hygiene tasks, encouraging him or her to use the restroom, and packing some water and healthy snacks. Bring books or magazines to keep you and your loved one occupied while waiting in the doctor’s office.
Encourage Comfortable Clothing
Encourage your loved one to wear comfortable clothing that’s easy to remove and adjust. The doctor will want to take your loved one’s blood pressure, so a short-sleeved shirt or a shirt with sleeves that can easily be rolled up is ideal. Make sure your loved one’s pants don’t fit too tightly so blood pressure levels aren’t falsely affected, and ensure they can be removed with ease for the appointment.
If your loved one has diabetes, the doctor will want to check his or her feet for cuts or injuries. Wearing sandals or shoes that can easily be removed will make this simpler for you and your loved one during the appointment.
Leave Time for Traffic
It’s best to arrive at the doctor’s office at least 15 minutes early to take care of any insurance issues or paperwork. Head out for the appointment early, and leave plenty of time for traffic or construction to ensure you arrive on time.
If you’re unable to take your parent to the doctor yourself, a home caregiver can be a great resource. Tucson at-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.
Make It an Outing
Don’t let a doctor’s appointment be the only time you see your loved one during the week. Make some time, if possible, to go out to lunch afterward or stop for a quick walk in the park. Talk about things other than the appointment. Doing so will help your loved one look forward to your time together.
If your loved one is living with cognitive decline due to dementia, getting him or her ready for a doctor appointment can be a bit more time-consuming and challenging. Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. Tucson families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life. For reliable in-home care services, contact us at (520) 214-5440 today.