If you provide regular care for your senior parent, you may also drive or accompany your mom or dad to regular medical appointments. It’s also important to make sure you’re kept informed when it comes to your parent’s current health needs so you’ll know what to look out for and what additional steps you might need to take while providing care. Achieve this goal by keeping the following tips for communicating with your parent’s physician in mind.
1. Take the Necessary Legal Steps First
Be aware of medical privacy regulations as you establish more direct communication with your parent’s physician. This may mean having your mom or dad sign a durable power of attorney for medical purposes or a similar legal document. Such documents allow your parent to officially give you permission to discuss his or her health-related matters. You and your loved one may also be asked to sign a consent form.
2. Determine Who Will Be Handling Medical Communication
If you’ll be the one primarily communicating with your parent’s doctor, let other family members know this to minimize potential issues with miscommunication or confusion, especially if siblings or other family members also provide assistance with care. It can also be helpful to determine how you’ll keep everyone on the same page. For instance, you might have monthly family meetings or send out group emails after each appointment.
If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Mesa senior care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
3. Be Prepared for Appointments
Be more productive with how you communicate with your parent’s doctor by going to appointments together. When you do this, be prepared by sitting down with your parent a day or two before the appointment. This will give you a chance to make a list of questions or concerns that need to be brought up during the visit. Additionally, be prepared for appointments by:
• Taking notes so your parent can be more focused on the purpose of the visit
• Confirming any post-visit instructions that are given
• Going over medications currently being taken
• Discussing any recent physical or mental health changes
• Mentioning any unusual or unexpected reactions to treatments or medications
• Asking questions if you need clarification about anything related to your parent’s health
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
4. Establish Your Preferred Communication Methods
Physicians often juggle many tasks, which can make it difficult to keep in touch with family caregivers. Make this process easier for your parent’s doctor by letting him or her know how you wish to communicate. Doing so can reduce issues with overlooked messages or frustration over not being able to reach one another. Also, get an emergency contact number for times when you may need to quickly get in touch with your parent’s physician.
5. Keep a Journal
If your parent has a chronic condition or other health issues that require regular physician visits, it can be helpful to keep a journal. Journaling can also be beneficial if your parent is taking medications for various reasons or living with dementia, sleep or digestive issues, or other problems that require regular observation. The notes you make in the journal can be used to help your parent’s doctor fine-tune treatment recommendations.
A home caregiver can help you keep track of your loved one’s health and remind your parent to take his or her prescribed medications. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Mesa live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call (480) 699-4899 today.