Choosing a geriatric doctor for your loved one will be an important decision that will affect both the short- and long-term. Like choosing a pediatrician for a young child, selecting a geriatric doctor deserves careful consideration. This is the person that you will be calling in the middle of the night and counting on for fast, dependable medical advice.
Experience and Qualifications
The most important factor to consider is the experience that the doctor has working with elders. Elders have certain complications that only a geriatric doctor will be experienced in. This doesn’t mean that a doctor who has recently started working in geriatric care will be anything less, but the more years a doctor has in the field, the more trained they are in recognizing red flags.
Additionally, look at the qualifications of the doctor, such as where they received their medical training. Some doctors also have specializations, and this can prove helpful if your loved one has diabetes or dementia. This way, if condition-related issues pop up, the doctor will be more familiar with them than a doctor without this specialization. Having flexible hours is also important, so look for doctors that offer some evening and weekend appointments.
Types of Insurance Accepted
A final piece to the puzzle is the types of insurance that the doctor accepts. You can be very pleased with a particular doctor, but if they don’t accept your insurance plan, it won’t be a feasible relationship. Many doctors are accommodating with Medicare and other insurance plans, but it’s always best to ask first, as many insurance plans have in-network and out-of-network providers.
Online Reviews and Reputation
When you have narrowed down your search, use the internet to read reviews from past and current patients. Having a good reputation within the community has always been of importance when choosing a health professional, but this reputation can often be limited. With the internet, you can look up any health professional and choose a good geriatric doctor, even if you live hundreds of miles away from your loved one. There are various sites that provide “grades” for doctors based on the reviews and ratings of past patients.
Choosing a geriatric doctor is vital to your loved one’s care. By giving this decision careful time and consideration, you can have the best end result.