The idea of visiting the doctor is often accompanied by some sort of sinking feeling, regardless of age. From when we were children to our senior years, there is always some reason to have a looming dread about it. From the fear of needles as a child, to getting an unexpected complication reported to you by the doctor as a senior, the reasons vary in scope and intensity.
It doesn’t always have to be like this though, as there are several things we can do to make the doctor’s visit a calm and even pleasurable experience for ourselves, our loved ones, and those we are caring for. As we get older, the frequency of visiting the doctor picks up, as our bodies go through the changes advancing in age brings. The simplest, and probably most effective way to start alleviating these stresses is through proper preparation. Preparation in itself is broad and covers several areas and approaches:
Get There Early
As with all appointments, it is preferred to get to the doctor’s office or clinic a few minutes (15 to 20) before the scheduled time. This comes with several advantages, both practical and abstract. Arriving early helps by giving time to get familiar with the premises, allowing you and/or who you are caring for to calm down and get bearings on where to go – especially if it is a new location. It also makes time available to communicate information needed, like insurance information and filling necessary paperwork with the relevant staff.
Collect What is Needed
It is better to get to the doctor’s appointment with everything you think would be necessary for the doctor to make a better assessment and diagnosis. This may include prescription medication information, records of your (or the patient’s) progress, -the more detailed the better- and health insurance information. It is also important to note any unusual symptoms and extreme cases of ailment and present these as soon as possible to the physician.
Give yourself (or your loved one) enough time to get ready. Grooming and movement may take a bit longer for seniors, but with enough time to prepare, that will not be a problem. With enough time, you will not have to rush and possibly add to any stress already being felt from the doctor’s visit.
Reminders to Reminders
It is always better to be mentally prepared for any upcoming doctor’s appointment. As such, you should start setting reminders on any platforms you have available to avoid forgetting about any upcoming appointments. Ask your nurse (if you have one), caretaker, or family member to also keep close tabs on it and remind you frequently. This is especially important if the patient has any conditions that affect memory, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Compile a List of Questions
It is good to prepare a list of concerns and questions for the doctor before your visit. Not only will it better help you understand what you or the senior is going through but is also a great way to learn information that may have been outside the area of discussion during the visit. In turn, also be ready to record any information given to you by the doctor during the visit. Record it, or have someone do that for you, for later review and your next visit.
By preparing with some of the mentioned, you’ll find it a lot less stressful when anticipating and preparing your next doctor’s appointment. Becoming a senior member of society does not mean you have to compromise on the quality of life you enjoy. There are several places to find the necessary aid that you need from caring personnel, trained to help in various degrees of need. Reach us here and see how we can make your golden years truly shine.