How to Help an Elder Get the Most out of Doctor Appointments

Part of the Eldercare For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Often, part of caring for an elder includes accompanying them to medical appointments. To make the most of these healthcare sessions, encourage your elder to use the following tips to promote a healthcare partnership with his or her doctors:

  • Take along a notepad or tape recorder to capture the doctor's comments and instructions.

  • Remember to wear your hearing aid and eyeglasses.

  • Don't be shy about asking the doctor to slow down or speak up.

  • Take someone with you to serve as an extra set of ears, take notes, and advocate for your well-being.

  • Put your prescription medicines, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal remedies in a bag and bring them with you (or take a written list).

  • Take along a one-page concise list of questions and concerns, organized in order of importance (with a copy for the doctor).

  • Talk openly about your diet, alcohol consumption, and smoking habits, as well as major life changes (such as moving in with children or losing a loved one).

  • Ask the doctor to explain anything you don't understand in plain English.

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