There are momentous occasions in a person’s life: getting a driver’s license, having a child, graduating school, or, often overlooked, becoming the caregiver of a parent or another older loved one.
Caregiving can take many forms. Family caregivers often accompany their parent to their physician appointments and possibly even sit in the exam room with them. While there’s no studying involved for this exam, it’s important to be prepared, especially when you are advocating care for someone else or trying to make sure they aren’t readmitted to hospital. Below are 12 suggestions on what to do before, during and after a visit with the doctor.
- Make sure if your loved one needs to sign a consent to disclose health information, so you can be involved directly in their care.
- Pack a bag that includes a list of your loved one’s current prescription and over-the-counter medications (including vitamins and supplements) and a change of clothing in case of any accidents while away from home.
- Write down any questions and/or concerns you or your parent has about their health. Then, prioritize them to the top two so the physician can have ample time to focus on each one.
- Pack a notebook, laptop, tablet, etc. so you can take notes.
- Have a chat. While you might absentmindedly start to play on your smartphone or laptop while waiting, it’s important to engage with your loved one even if it’s just small talk.
- Use your notebook, laptop, etc. and jot down any changes or the physician’s concerns.
- Reference your written questions and ask them.
- Involve your parent in their own care. You could remind them about their written questions by asking, “Mom, didn’t you have a question for the doctor?”
- Ask your parent if they have any new questions or concerns and write them down.
- Drop off any new prescriptions at your loved one’s pharmacy and schedule any tests like an MRI or colonoscopy as soon as possible.
- Watch for changes in their health and contact their doctor if concerning problems persist.
- If your parent needed to fast for blood work or maybe received some bad news, get some lunch with them after the appointment. Make it a time to relax and enjoy each other’s company.
There may be days where you can’t accompany your loved one to a doctor appointment. That’s where ComForCare comes in. Our caregivers can provide transportation and even escort your loved one to their doctor appointment. To learn more about how ComForCare caregivers can help, download our single-page guide, “What Is Home Care?”