March 14, 2011
Going to the doctor is a nerve-wracking experience for many people. That's why it's important that a senior be prepared and take along a family member, friend or professional caregiver as a second set of eyes and ears to make sure everything goes smoothly. If you're not able to go with a family member to the doctor, why not enlist the services of a professional CAREGiverSM?
Q. I'm a 78-year-old widower who gets very nervous going to the doctor. I often forget some of the questions I should ask and get confused after I leave. What can I do to help?
Going to the doctor alone can be intimidating at any age. Before you go to your appointment, remembering certain items will make your visit go more smoothly. According to Home Instead Senior Care® and the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP), you should take with you to your doctor's appointment:
- A list of all your current medications. This includes all prescriptions as well as any over-the-counter drugs and herbal supplements – anything that you are taking for medicinal purposes.
- Any medical records that you may have on hand from previous doctors.
- A list of questions for your doctor.
- A notepad and pen to take notes on the doctor's instructions.
- A friend, family member or caregiver.
Taking someone with you to the appointment can be a big help. If you don't have family nearby, ask a friend, a neighbor or someone from your church. It will be comforting to have someone that you know to accompany you.
A trusted companion at doctors' visits can provide moral support and help you take notes if needed. In addition, having someone accompany you to doctors' visits will take some of the apprehension out of the visit or the fear of driving to the office. If you're hard-of-hearing, it also will provide additional help in understanding a doctor's instructions.
If you don't know anyone to go to the doctor's office with you, call your local Home Instead Senior Care office. Home Instead CAREGivers provide seniors non-medical support and many do accompany seniors to their doctor's visits. CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured, and serve as great friends in a time of need.
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