Ever gone for your doctor’s appointment and arrive on time and then you sit and wait and wait for your name to be called? The time waiting can sometimes be excruciating; all the while thinking about all the possible things that may be wrong, not looking forward to being weighed or poked, as your blood pressure elevates. For an elderly person, it can be even more difficult; therefore being prepared for the visit, may alleviate some of the anxiety.
The National Institute on Aging recommends the following list to help prepare for what often is a very brief opportunity to communicate one on one with your doctor. Good doctor patient communications are important for getting the most out of your office visit.
- Be prepared: make a list of concerns.
- Take information with you.
- Make sure you can see and hear as well as possible.
- Consider bringing a family member or friend.
- Find an interpreter if you know you’ll need one.
- Plan to update the doctor on what has happened since your last visit.
If you are a caregiver for an older adult, especially if they have any problems with hearing, vision or cognitive skills, you will want to go to mmLearn.org and watch Dr. David A. Smith, Geriatric Consultants of Central Texas, for his presentation on Doctor and Patient Communication – How to Talk to your Doctor. Dr. Smith emphasizes the need for patients to be proactive when it comes to their health and gives some helpful information about the crucial questions to ask.