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Tips for bringing aging parents to meetings

Before the meeting

Before taking your parents to their doctor’s visit, there are two things you should do:

1. Talk to your parents.

It is important to set aside some time to inquire about your parents’ health before taking them for a doctor’s visit. You can ask if they have problems with their medications, or if they have any specific questions they want to ask the doctors.

Also try to observe if their lifestyle, habits, medical conditions, appearance and mood have undergone any change lately. This may indicate that their medical needs are not being adequately met.

The medical needs of older parents can be quite complex. When you talk to your parents before the meeting, you will be able to ensure that all their medical needs are adequately met during the visit.

2. Gather information.

After asking about your parent̵

7;s health, the next thing you need to do is prepare for the meeting. This means gathering and organizing all the information you need for the visit.

This information will not only be useful to your doctor, but it will also help you stay focused and calm.

Take a notepad and a pen and write down the questions you need to ask so that you do not miss anything. In addition to this, also organize all the medical records and the list of medications previously prescribed, so that the doctor knows your parents’ medical history.

During the doctor’s visit

Make notes about your parents’ health.

During the visit, you would also need to note down the vital signs registered by the health technician. Ask them about your parent’s health condition, especially if your parent has diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Note the target numbers and whether they are within the normal range.

Ask your doctor for medication and advice on lifestyle changes to better manage your condition. If your parent suffers from progressive diseases such as COPD, dementia, etc., you should also ask your doctor if it has advanced and what changes can be expected in the future.

2. Manage their medications.

Because the medical conditions of older parents are often quite complex, it can be difficult for them to manage their medications.

You can help your parents by asking your doctor to explain the medication and other important aspects of it. For example,

  • How does the drug work?
  • How should it be taken?
  • Whether to take with food or on an empty stomach.
  • Reason for prescribing.
  • If there are any possible side effects?
  • Whether it is a short-term or long-term medication.
  • Things to avoid, such as drinks, food and over-the-counter medications.

3. Lifestyle management advice.

It is also important to discuss your parents’ lifestyle issues with your doctor. You can ask your doctor to suggest any lifestyle changes (exercise or diet) that may help improve your parent’s health. You should also ask about the precautions that should be taken to prevent any infections, especially if your parents have a weakened immune system.

Stress can often be a major factor in deteriorating the health of elderly patients. You can also ask your doctor if your parent needs stress management methods to deal with their health problems.

4. Ask questions.

This is the most important part of the process. Make sure you do not overlook any important detail and ask your doctor questions if you are unsure. Also, be sure to ask your parent if they have any doubts or questions.

5. Ask about aftercare.

Ask the doctor if any follow-up care is needed after the appointment. Also, ask how you can help your parent get better after taking them home.

After the doctor’s visit

Your responsibility as your parents’ caregiver continues even after the visit. You can explain the instructions from the doctor to your parents.

To help them keep track of better, you can write down the instructions and prescribed medications and place them in an area where they would be visible to them. If some follow-up care and tests are required, make a note of them in your calendar.

It is important for aging people to have loved ones whom they can trust by their side for potentially complex situations, such as doctor visits. When you accompany your parents on these visits, you are mainly acting as their health advocate.

In addition to helping them with their meetings, it is also a good opportunity to talk to them about their living will, medical power of attorney and will. If they do not have any of these documents, it’s time. Read more here: The importance of having powers of attorney

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