Seven Smart Tips for Seniors When Talking to the Doctor

By: Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services
Sunday, December 1, 2019

Doctors are busy people and their schedules are always full. That’s why the 15-minute patient visit has become ubiquitous in modern health care, particularly in the offices of primary care and family doctors.

This leaves little time for senior patients to discuss multiple health concerns during the appointment. While the length of time of doctor appointments may be decreasing, the quality of your visit doesn’t have to suffer because of it. At your next appointment, try the following seven helpful tips for seniors when talking to the doctor.

  1. Prepare for your appointment ahead of time. Unless you’ve been seeing the same family doctor for decades, it’s likely that your physician won’t possess an intimate knowledge of your past or present health status. For this very reason, it’s vital for you to arrive at your appointment both knowledgeable and ready to discuss your health with your doctor.
  2. Bring a list of all of your medications. On your list, note the dosage, time, and how you take each medication. Be specific. For example: I take 100 milligrams of X medication with water each day; one pill at 8 a.m. and the second pill at 8 p.m. Bring this document with you to your appointment so that your doctor can review it. Be sure to mention any side effects you’ve been experiencing and note which prescriptions you will need to have refilled. Record any recommendations that your doctor makes regarding changes to your medications or how to take them. At the end of your visit, review what you have written with your doctor to make sure that you are both on the same page.
  3. Come with an agenda and stick to it. A shortage of primary care physicians and overbooked appointments often means that your doctor will need to keep your appointment brief. Make the most of the time that you have with your physician. Know ahead of time what your most important health issues are to help ensure that each of these concerns gets addressed. When you set up your appointment initially, don’t be timid about asking for a longer appointment time if you feel that you’ll need more to discuss your health issue or treatment options.
  4. Mention any changes to your health. Changes in your hearing, balance, vision, or weight are all important. For example, a change in your overall weight can impact the dosage needed or side effects of a specific medication. Providing your doctor with this information will give him or her a more accurate picture of your overall health.
  5. Communicate your needs. If you require glasses or a hearing aid, make sure that you bring them with you to your appointment. You’ll want your vision and hearing to be as clear as possible. Missing critical information or mishearing how a medication should be taken could be dangerous to your health. Additionally, when you talk openly about your needs doing so allows your doctor’s office to accommodate them. You may need the doctor to write down certain information, allow time for you to take notes, or to speak at a slower pace.
  6. Bring along a friend or family member. It’s not uncommon for aging parents to bring along an adult child or friend to their doctor appointments. You should feel comfortable discussing personal and private information in front of this person. Your companion will serve as a second set of eyes and ears during your visit. He or she may remember different aspects of what the doctor said or remember to ask questions that you both intended to get answered. After your visit, you can discuss what the doctor said and recommended. If you feel like some information is too personal to share in front of your friend or family member, you can always ask them to leave the room for a moment while you speak privately with your doctor. 
  7. Be honest. Discussing your health issues or sexual activity can feel invasive. Perhaps you feel reluctant to admitting to a fall, feeling depressed or discussing losses to your memory, hearing, or vision. However, being honest is the best way to ensure that your medical records offer a true reflection of your overall health. Being open and honest with your doctor will help him or her to make the best recommendations going forward.

Face-to-face time with doctors is often too brief, but a little preparation can make each visit more pleasant, informative, and productive. If you have questions about how to approach your next doctor’s appointment or if you need help locating medical resources in the area, feel free to contact us. Our compassionate, caring team is always happy to help.

About Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services: As a leading African American-owned and operated funeral and cremation organization serving three states, Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services has provided a ministry of care to thousands of grieving families. We promise to provide our highest level of distinguished service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved one. In all aspects of the funeral process, we strive to be the absolute best and are honored to help preserve our clients’ legacies for future generations. With three convenient locations serving both North and West Philadelphia, as well as Trenton and Drexel Hill, it is always our pleasure to be of service. Please visit our website for more information. 

 

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

Funeral or Celebration of Life: How to Decide What’s Right for Your Loved One

When a loved one passes away, it is important to honor their life with a memorable final goodbye. In the past, society has turned to funeral services based on religious or cultural traditions to ...

Funeral Attire Do’s and Don’ts: Six Indispensable Tips Everyone Needs to Know

If you’re planning to attend a funeral or memorial service, you may be wondering about the rules of etiquette—what to say to the bereaved, how to extend condolences, and where to send flowers, for ...

Avoiding Hidden Sodium: Seven Strategies to Improve Your Diet

Consuming too much sodium can cause high blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke, kidney disease, and other health issues. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend consuming less than 2,300 mg of sodi...

Your Guide to Estate Planning: Seven Common Mistakes and Mishaps to Avoid

Estate planning is about getting your affairs in order for the end of your life and beyond. While it can be uncomfortable to consider end-of-life wishes, no one will live forever. Whether you are ...

Take These Practical Steps to Plan for Your Pet’s Care When You Pass Away

Have you ever considered what would happen to your pets if you died or became seriously ill? They have no one to advocate for them unless you do, so don’t leave them out of your estate planning e...

Digital Compassion: Seven Things to Know About Expressing Sympathies at a Virtual Funeral

Live streaming allows mourners to take part in memorial ceremonies at any time, from anywhere. While the COVID-19 health crisis ushered in the dire need for virtual funeral solutions, other barri...

Casket vs. Coffin: Twelve Things to Know About These Important Memorial Products

Funeral planning involves many details, including the choice of a coffin or a casket. Although coffins and caskets may look the same to the untrained eye, they are vastly different. Please read on...

The Rooms in a Funeral Home Perform Many Important Functions

Funeral homes are designed to be peaceful, comfortable places for family and friends to gather for support and reflection. A comforting environment, accessibility, ample space, and caring staff a...

Announcing a Funeral Service? Follow These Helpful Guidelines

A funeral announcement is a message or invitation that shares the news of a loved one’s passing. It can be digital or hard copy and often provides information about commemorative events that are ...

Can You Pass a Funeral Procession? Four Important Rules Regarding Safe Vehicle Operation

Do you know the rules of the road when you encounter a funeral procession or participate in one? If you are unsure, you’re not alone. Many motorists don’t know the proper protocols for this situa...