Feeling rushed when going to a doctor’s appointment seems to be the norm rather than an exception, most individuals say. Older adults especially may feel rushed and may hesitate to ask their doctor any questions other than for the medical issue at hand. Being unable to speak freely with your physician though can lead to health consequences as a small issue may escalate into a much larger health concern if unaddressed.
According to studies, nine out of ten patients, regardless of age, have a hard time communicating with their physician, but as they age, they have a more difficult time understanding the information the doctors are passing along to them. As your parents age it is usually a good idea to have a family member attend the office visits and take notes on what the doctor says and help your elderly parents voice their concerns. It’s also a good idea to get your aging relatives to keep a notebook of medical concerns and aches and pains as they arise between doctor’s visits.
If the seniors in your life aren’t able to get a family member to go to the doctor’s visit and advocate for them, they need to be able to speak up and ask the doctor to repeat information and instructions; they should also bring their notebook and go through the list of medical concerns. Be sure to stress to them the importance of taking careful notes.
Taking all current medications to doctor’s visits with them is also a good idea as the doctor will want to see the medications and the dosage, especially if your aging parent has more than one doctor treating them. Having the doctor check your elderly loved ones medications will help prevent harmful drug interactions. In some cases, drug interactions can cause dizziness which can lead to trip and fall accidents. In individuals over the age of 65, trip and fall accidents are the leading reason they become hospitalized and may lose the ability to age in place.
If the seniors in your life are determined to age in place, then taking care of their health on a daily basis is a must. Another way to help them remain independent and to provide peace of mind to all family members is to equip the home with a medical alert system; these devices provide the senior with a medical alert pendant and in the event of an emergency at the push of a button medical personnel can be dispatched.
Remaining active, taking medications at the prescribed doses, having the home age-proofed and having access to a medical alert device can help your aging parent remain safe and healthy in his or her own home.
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