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Caregiving Tips: Making the Most of Senior Medical Appointments

As a family caregiver, establishing a good relationship between your loved one and his or her health care team is vital to maintaining patient wellness. So how exactly does a caregiver go about creating a strong patient-doctor relationship? Home Care Assistance, a premier home care agency in Toronto, offers a few tips for how to ensure optimal results and efficient use of time at a senior’s medical appointment.

  • Be Prepared – When the appointment is made, information should be gathered about what types of paperwork will be needed at the visit. In addition to insurance cards, most physicians will need to see a complete list of the older adult’s medications, any test results and medical records.
  • Bring a List of Questions – All too often, seniors and their caregivers think of important questions to ask the doctor before an appointment only to forget half of them after they arrive. Keeping a running list on the door of the refrigerator or in another accessible place can help seniors and their families to quickly jot down concerns when they think of them.
  • Inquire about Auxiliary Services – Many people falsely assume that their physician is fully aware of the treatments and therapies that their loved one is receiving. It is crucial to be proactive and ask the doctor whether or not their senior may benefit from things such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, diabetes education classes, or other programs.
  • Ask Follow-Up Questions – Some people are too embarrassed to clarify instructions that they are given, and others are non-compliant because they do not see a clear purpose for treatment. If a new therapy or medication regimen is started, it is extremely important to take note of the senior’s response to the new plan and report any untoward changes. If you need further clarification about a treatment or why it’s being prescribed, don’t be afraid to ask.

If your loved one’s doctor identifies any new changes in health that may impact his or her ability to carry out activities of daily living, it may be time to start planning for the future. Along with legal matters such as drafting living wills and trusts, seniors and their family members should look at options for long-term support such as Toronto live-in care.

For more caregiving tips or information about caring for senior loved ones, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Toronto. We are a trusted, local provider of in-home care offering tailored services including dementia, stroke, post-hospital and Parkinson’s care in Toronto. Call 416-488-8777 and request your complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a friendly Care Manager today.