Communication is a key to any successful relationship. When it comes to doctor/patient relationships, communication is also key to receiving the best healthcare possible. However, it is not always easy for patients to talk to their physicians, especially for older Americans – though the older people get, the more important it is for them to nurture an open, honest, communicative partnership with their healthcare provider.

Knowing that your time with the doctor is limited, there are some basic ways to help maximize this time. Preparing beforehand and then asking questions during the appointment are vital to achieve the best level of healthcare possible.

Before the Appointment

  • Jot down everything you’d like to ask your physician.
  • Note any changes in appetite, mood and/or body.
  • For each, note the date that the entry is made, what it is about, and the changes noticed.
  • Also write down changes in health since the last doctor’s visit.
  • Bring a list of all your prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and herbal remedies or supplements, as well as dosage information and side effects, if any.

Medical Testing 101

If medical tests are ordered during a visit to the doctor, the National Institute on Aging (NIA) recommends finding out the following information:

  • Name of test
  • Reason for test
  • What the test involves
  • What the test will attempt to reveal
  • Cost/health insurance coverage
  • Dangers/side effects
  • When the results will be ready

Diagnose the Diagnosis

To assist in understanding information while visiting the doctor, ask the following questions about a diagnosis:

  • What is the name of my condition? How is it spelled?
  • Why do you think I have this condition? What may have caused it?
  • How long may this problem last? Will it be forever?
  • What is the prescribed treatment?
  • Is there a specialist who I need to see for further information or a second opinion?

Home care agencies, such as Live Free Home Health Care, can also be important advocates for a senior’s health and wellbeing. Among numerous skills and services, we can assist with scheduling and transportation to and from a doctor’s appointment, and in making certain that medications are taken as prescribed. Providing in-home care services in Concord, New Hampshire and the rest of the Lakes region and Central New Hampshire, contact Live Free Home Health Care today to learn more about how we can assist.