Opening the door to the doctor’s office can be disheartening. Fewer doctors and more senior patients than ever have created waiting rooms full of anxious patients lined up to see stressed doctors. As a result, wait times have grown longer and the amount of time patients have in exam rooms with their doctor has shortened. Even with all these casualties, you need to know that a senior’s doctor’s visit is the most important part of the process, hence, you need to get as much information as possible.

The senior/doctor relationship is vital to seniors’ mental and physical health. It’s estimated that as many as 87% of seniors have been diagnosed with at least one chronic health condition. With a limited number of doctors so busy throughout the year, especially during cold and flu season, it’s essential for seniors to prepare before their appointments to maximize their time with the doctor.

Seniors Prefer Homecare is committed to helping our older adults enjoy the highest quality of life possible. Here’s a checklist we’re happy to provide you to help any senior make the most of their doctor’s visit.

Before the appointment…

Before your senior loved one’s next doctor’s visit, create a checklist of information you want to be sure to cover with the doctor, including:

  • Anything that has changed since the senior’s last visit, including any physical, emotional, appetite, sleep, or other changes
  • Any specific questions that you and your loved one want to be sure to ask the doctor
  • A current list of all prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements that your senior is taking

Keeping all of this information continually updated and conveniently located in one place, such as a notebook or health diary, and bringing it with you to each appointment will help make sure you’re ready for the appointment.

And, don’t forget to bring insurance cards, photo ID, payment for co-pays or other charges, contact information for other doctors, and medical records (if needed).

During the appointment…

Once you’re together with the doctor, share with them any immediate concerns you may have, as well as the information you’ve brought with you. Take notes on the doctor’s observations and recommendations, or ask for a printout of what was discussed to ensure nothing falls through the cracks afterward.

And, above all, ask plenty of questions. This is key to keeping your senior loved one in optimum health specific to their particular conditions. For example, the American Heart Association has assembled this list of questions to ask a doctor concerning heart health:

  • What is the ideal cholesterol level for the senior?
  • Are there certain foods they should eat?
  • Are there any foods they need to avoid or limit?
  • What information is important to know about prescribed medications? Side effects? Any potential interactions with other medicines or supplements?
  • How often should blood pressure checks be taken?
  • Should the senior lose (or gain) any weight?
  • What’s a good exercise regimen for the senior?

After the appointment…

Before you leave the doctor’s office, verify at checkout:

  • If you need any further testing
  • When new prescriptions should be picked up
  • If there are instructions or treatment notes seniors can take home with them
  • When follow-up appointments are scheduled
  • If any payment is due

Seniors Prefer Homecare offers a wide variety of customized home care services, including transportation and accompaniment to medical