Talking to Your Aging Parent’s Doctor

As your parent’s age and their health situations change you will probably find yourself accompanying them to the doctor. Whether your presence at the doctor is out of medical necessity or just to provide support here are some questions you may want to consider asking:

  • What is the diagnosis?
  • Are you prescribing new medications today?
  • What are the possible side effects of the medications you have prescribed? How will they interact with the medications my parent is already on?
  • Are there certain foods and drinks we should avoid with this medication?
  • What mental or physical changes should we look out for?
  • What exercises do you recommend to improve balance, strength, and cardiovascular fitness?
  • What blood work will be done today?
  • Are there follow-up tests that will need to be done?
  • How do we prepare for the tests you have recommended? (eg. Fasting)
  • How will we receive the test results? Should we call to get them?
  • Can we receive copies of the test results and medical records?
  • Could my parent’s medications affect their risk of falling?
  • What balance tests would you recommend to determine my parent’s risk for falling?
  • When should I make the next appointment?

After getting your questions answered by the doctor you may find it helpful to keep a journal documenting any changes in your parent’s condition including changes in mood, behavior, appetite and sleep pattern, especially after a change in medication or a significant change in health. Having an honest conversation with your parent’s doctor can help you gain valuable insight into your loved one’s condition, thereby enabling you to provide better care for them.

In the event that you are unable to attend a doctor appointment with your parent or loved one, the professional nurses at Bayshore are skilled in asking pertinent questions and documenting the health issues that were discussed. A Bayshore nurse can then report to you and help you carry out any of the care needs recommended by the physician. Having a second pair of ears present when visiting the doctor is helpful at any age, but as your loved one ages and the need for medical attention becomes more frequent this need become even more pertinent.

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