You can’t sleep tonight as the thought of dad’s doctor’s appointment tomorrow morning is already draining you. As simple as a doctor visit may sound to others, when you are caring for an aging loved one, this task may take all day to accomplish.
By following some of the following tips, you can simplify the upcoming doctor visits and get back to sleep without worry.
- Pre-determine the outcome you want out of the doctor visit. Do you want to talk about switching medications, is it just an annual checkup, are you looking for a diagnosis? Whatever the case may be, having a planned outcome is a good way to ease your mind.
- Prepare for the visit ahead of time. If certain medications are causing unwanted symptoms, write it down. If something runs in your family and you want your loved one to get checked, write down family medical history. If tests are being run, pay attention to details like no food or water after midnight for your loved one.
- Keep ongoing lists. Symptoms that the person you care for are critical to keep in mind. Some symptoms may slip your mind at the time of the doctor visit, so keep a list anytime you hear of a new symptom. Write down specific questions that you may want to consult with the doctor about.
- Keep documenting! Throughout your visit, you want to be sure to keep a log of information that is mentioned. Often times you will be getting information from the nurses station to the primary doctor, so keeping some paper and a pen is a great idea.
- After the visit, research. Asking questions is okay. Taking your notes from the visit home and doing research on those notes is not a bad idea. Doing research on those big medical terms can help you find comfort in knowing exactly what the doctor said. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call and speak with the nurse’s station or the doctor.