Often as someone we love or care for ages, we may find ourselves accompanying them on their doctor visits. This can be a very helpful and useful endeavor, but it is important to know what role you should take when doing so.
To assist with this, we've compiled some tips to help you know what to do the next time you find yourself in this situation.
Prepare for the appointment
Work with your loved one to make a list of questions you both may have for the doctor, and be prepared to take notes on the doctor's responses.
It is also important to make a list of all the medications and supplements the person is taking (including over-the-counter medications), the schedule on which they take them, and the dosage they take.
Don't take too strong of a role
It is important to remember that this is their visit - not yours. While you should definitely engage, be sure to let the person visiting the doctor have control.
It can sometimes be difficult to not steer into a two-way conversation with the doctor, leaving your person out of the loop. Try to be mindful of this, and when the doctor asks a question, be sure to let them answer unless you have been asked to do so or your person looks to you for support.
Your person may want some private time with the doctor. This is okay. Be sure to ask them before the appointment how you can be helpful.
Watch for signs of depression
Look for signs of depression in your loved one in the time leading up to the doctor appointment.
Signs of depression can include:
Aches or pains with no clear physical cause
Thoughts of death or suicide
Eating more or less than usual with corresponding weight gain or loss
Decreased energy or fatigue
Loss of interest in activities or hobbies
Irritability or restlessness
Feelings of hopelessness or guilt
If your loved one is experiencing these symptoms, you may want to reach out to the doctor before the appointment to discuss.
If you live out of town
If you don't live in the same town as the person your are assisting, be sure to speak with the doctor on how you can keep up to date on the person's health. You may also want to speak to the doctor about any community resources they may know of. Larger facilities may have a social worker on staff that you can discuss this with as well.
For more information on how to tell if an aging loved one needs help, click here.
Sunshine Home Care is an Altus, OK home health agency providing care in most of Western Oklahoma. For more information on our agency, visit here or contact us today.