Home > Caregivers, Medical issues > Preparing for the Doctor’s Visit

Preparing for the Doctor’s Visit

The time may come when you have to accompany your parent, or friend, or another person when they go to visit their doctor.  This could be for a routine check-up, or it could be in response to a problem that needs attention.  Here are a few tips that can help make this a positive experience for both of you:

— Bring a list of questions, regarding what’s important to both you and your parent.  Take notes on what the doctor says, and recommends.  This can help later on, when you need to remind your parent (or yourself) what the doctor said.

— Before the appointment, ask your parent’s spouse, or other persons involved in her care, if they have any concerns or questions they would like for you to ask.

— Bring a list of ALL medications your parent takes, including over-the-counter meds and dietary supplements, including dosages and times taken.  Often a person may see several doctors, and they may not all know what the others have prescribed.

— When the doctor asks a question, allow your parent to answer, unless you have been asked to do so previously.

— Try to avoid the temptation of getting into a two-way conversation between you and the doctor.

— Respect your parent’s privacy, and leave the room for more sensitive examinations, if necessary.

— Ask the doctor if he has any suggestions for helping you keep up-t0-date on your parent’s health matters.

— Ask the doctor if he can recommend any helpful community resources, such as Meals-on-Wheels or public transportation systems.

— Larger medical practices sometimes have a social worker on staff.  Ask if that person can make any of the above recommendations or be of assistance.

Don’t be afraid to phone your parent’s doctor, either before the appointment or after, either to clarify what has been said or to discuss issues that you may be uncomfortable bringing up with your parent present.  But, in the end, remember to allow your parent to coordinate their own medical care, and to participate in it, to the best extent possible and as long as they are able.

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