According to the most recent Canadian Census data, 15 percent of Canada’s population consists of seniors, a figure expected to increase significantly in the next decade. Related stats show adults within this age group tend to need to see doctors more often. Because the amount of time seniors spend with their physicians is often limited, it’s best to keep the tips discussed below in mind when you prepare your elderly parent for a doctor’s appointment.
1. Know What to Bring
Give your parent’s doctor’s office a call a few days before the appointment to find out what to bring. Typically, a senior needs to bring the following to a doctor’s appointment:
• Insurance information
• A list of medications being currently taken, including over-the-counter drugs and herbal supplements
• Hearing aids, blood sugar books, and other condition-specific items
2. Get Copies of Recent Test Results
Don’t assume the doctor will automatically have results from your parent’s most recent eye or dental exam or a specialized test such as an X-ray or MRI scan. Instead, get copies of any recent medical or health-related tests to make sure the doctor has them. Such information can be especially beneficial if your parent is seeing a doctor for the first time.
3. Allow Extra Time to Get Ready
The last thing you want to do is cause anxiety for yourself and your loved one just prior to a doctor’s appointment. One way to minimize stress is to allow some extra time to get your parent ready, especially if he or she normally needs assistance with dressing, grooming, or mobility. On a related note, arrive at the appointment about 15–20 minutes early to give your parent some time to relax and get comfortable.
4. Sit Down & Make a List of Questions/Concerns Together
Even if your parent is going to a familiar doctor, he or she may forget to bring up important questions or concerns. For this reason, set aside some time before the appointment to make a list of questions and specific concerns your parent would like to discuss with the doctor.
Home caregivers can help families maintain a detailed record of their loved one’s daily routine and note any issues the doctor should know about. Elderly home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
5. Arrange for Transportation
Consider arranging for transportation if you’re unable to take your parent to the appointment. One solution is to ask another family member to provide transportation. Another option is to see if your area has a ride service that specializes in safely picking up and dropping off seniors.
If you’re unable to take your parent to the doctor yourself, a home caregiver can be a great resource. Toronto senior care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
6. Ask to Come into the Office to Take Notes
Most doctors’ offices will allow a senior’s family caregiver to be present during the visit if it’s clearly in the senior’s best interests to do so. If this is permitted, take notes so your parent can focus on interacting with the doctor. Your notes can also come in handy later if there’s a need to clarify:
• Follow-up instructions
• Test orders
• Medication adjustments
• Other care recommendations
A professional home caregiver can help you keep track of any new symptoms or changes in your parent’s health that may require seeing a doctor. For many seniors in Toronto, ON, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (416) 488-8777 today.