One of the things family caregivers often do for their aging relatives is accompany them to medical appointments. While a caregiver’s job may be to help the older adult to remain healthy, their role in the doctor’s office can sometimes be confusing and lead to conflict. You want to make sure your family member is getting the best care possible and sharing all of the pertinent information with their doctor, but you also know that overstepping your boundaries may anger the older adult. If you’ve found yourself in that situation, having some strategies in mind can help you avoid it next time.
Below are 5 tips that can prevent medical appointments from devolving into arguments.
#1: Consider Timing
Lots of people have a time of the day when they feel at their best. If you’ve noticed that your aging relative has more energy in the mornings, try to schedule appointments during that time. Also, set appointments when you have ample time, so you won’t feel rushed and are less likely to be irritable.
#2: Have a Conversation Ahead of Time
Before going to the doctor, speak with the senior ahead of time to find out how they would like you to assist. Also, agree on the information to be discussed with the doctor, perhaps narrowing the topic of conversation down to just the most important issues. You can also agree to leave the room if the senior needs to discuss private information with the doctor.
#3: Tell the Doctor What Your Role Is
In some cases, older adults aren’t capable of understanding instructions or may resist care. If that’s the case, it’s important that the doctor knows you should receive the information and instructions. If you’re there for moral support only, let the doctor know so that they address the older adult.
#4: Take Notes
To prevent disagreements with your aging relative after the appointment, it can be helpful to take notes of what the doctor says. That way, if the older adult remembers something incorrectly, you can refer back to the notes.
#5: Talk After the Appointment
After the appointment, talk to your older family member about how the appointment went. Ask if they are happy with the doctor and the way things went. Also, ask how they felt about your role. Be prepared to accept feedback with an open mind and take their comments into consideration to make the next appointment go even better.
For Caregivers in Mt. Laurel, NJ, and the surrounding areas, call and talk to us at Home to Stay Healthcare Solutions (856) 720-0100.
Home to Stay Senior Care Solutions is owned and operated by the Dubler and Skole Families and was started because of experiences they had with their own Families. In one situation Mom was living alone and had a fall. It was not until this fall that the family realized they were unprepared.
When it was time for their Mom to come home, she needed companion and personal care to assist her and prevent another accident. Like most people in this situation, they were confused and did not know where to go for help. It was this life-changing experience that lead to starting a home care company that is focused on enabling those who wish to stay at home and age in place.
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