As your loved one starts to age, taking them to the doctor gets harder and more stressful. And, no matter how wonderful their doctor is, you know that they have other patients to visit with. That’s why you want to make the most of each visit so that both you and your loved one will feel accomplished. Whether your loved one suffers from dementia, Alzheimer’s or any other type of condition, these following tips will help you make the most of the doctor visits.
Plan Ahead for the Visit
Think about what you want to accomplish during the visit. Write down any questions that you have in advance so that you do not forget them while talking with the doctor. Having notes written down will also help you stay on track during the appointment. Also be sure to have a list of all medications that your loved one is on, as well as new symptoms that you are concerned about.
Inform the Doctor
People with Alzheimer’s or dementia are good at disguising themselves during doctor’s appointments. They may want the doctor to think that they are fine. If you think that your loved one will try to sugarcoat the truth, let the doctor know in advance about your loved one’s diagnosis or symptoms. This will help the doctor during the appointment, as well as when speaking to your loved one, prescribing medications and listening to their symptoms.
Let Your Loved One Be in Charge – if Possible
If your loved one can speak for themselves, let them. Losing their independence is difficult enough, so if they can, let them be the ones to lead the appointment. This will improve the overall mood of the visit, and your loved one will feel in control and competent. After all, they know their body and symptoms best.
Even though you may want your loved one to lead the appointment, it’s important to listen and take notes. People without memory impairment have a hard time remembering everything their doctor tells them, so you can help by writing down important information. You can also ask your own questions about things you don’t understand. Two sets of ears are better than one.
Get Confidentiality Papers Signed
Health providers have no choice but to crack down on confidentiality practices, so make sure that all proper release forms are signed. This gives you or other designated members of the family the right to receive information about your loved one’s health. Without these signed documents, the doctor won’t be able to discuss your loved one’s test results or health status.