Making the Most of Your

Making the Most of Your

Years ago, a number of my friends were raving about a new physician they were using.

Since I was between physicians, I jumped at the opportunity to try out the new sensation.

 Unfortunately, the doctor who communicated so well with my friends did not communicate nearly so well with me.

This was brought home as a harsh reality when she scheduled me for a surgery where we both had very different ideas about the expected outcome.

I ended up paying for a surgery that did not address my problems and learned a valuable lesson: one doctor does not fit all.

It is important to find a doctor that you can communicate with and who will work with you in partnership for the best medical care and quality of life.

This relationship can be even more complicated when your loved one’s long-trusted doctor is not communicating well with a caregiver.

However, severing that relationship can cause many problems. Following are some steps to take to improve care for almost anyone.


 • As people age, they typically develop more health issues, and it becomes even more important to have a physician who will work with them to maintain and improve health and outline a treatment plan to be followed.

• Health in an older adult typically has a greater impact on other aspects of life and overall quality of life.


• Make a list of health concerns or issues to take with you. If you have multiple questions, identify the top three or four for discussion during the appointment.

If the doctor has online chat or email, you can send the questions ahead of time as well.

• If possible, accompany your loved one to the appointment.

• Take prescriptions with you.

If you have had issues with any medications – side effects or high cost – make a note to share that information with your doctor.

There are ways for the doctor to help, possibly through free samples or a letter to your insurance company.

• If you or your loved one have been prescribed glasses or hearing aids, use them during your appointment so you can see and hear as well as possible.

• Note any changes since the last visit so you can share them with your doctor. Update the doctor about any ER visits, surgeries or other medical care. DURING THE APPOINTMENT

 • Face the doctor when you are talking and make eye contact.

• Be sure to ask questions, especially as an advocate for your loved one.

• If the doctor is describing a treatment plan, comment occasionally by saying “okay” or nod to indicate you are paying attention.

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