Communication Tips Between Seniors and Doctors

Many seniors come from the school of thought that view their physician as an authority figure, who should not be questioned. This mindset often keeps seniors from having the necessary conversations with their healthcare providers. As a home health care agency professional, part of your responsibility is to help support your patients with information and resources to increase effective communication between the patient and their health care providers.  As a loved one of a senior in need of medical attention, the following information can you help your loved one prepare for a physician visit as well.

Our home health care agency has provided some helpful tips below.

Preparing for an Appointment

You can be instrumental in helping older adults have a successful appointment with their physician. First, suggest they put together a comprehensive medical history including: all their physician’s names and contact info, medications, insurance info, allergies, past health issues and treatments. If the patient is unable to prepare this on their own, you can assist in this information gathering.  In addition to their medical history, have your senior loved one or patient prepare a list of questions ahead of time specific to the issue they are being seen for. Following the examination and evaluation, allow extra time for senior patient to process the information provided, ensure they have asked all the questions on the list, and ask any remaining questions that may have arisen during the visit.

At the Appointment

As a loved one, it may be important that you are present during your senior loved ones medical visits. As a home care provider, you may be asked to accompany the patient to their appointment. The following will help you and your senior patient make the most of their appointment.

  • Should the senior have hearing challenges, remind the physician to speak clearly and audibly.
  • Encourage the senior to take notes, or take notes on his/her behalf, and ask the physician to provide instructions in writing.
  • Involve other health professionals involved in the patients health care plan, with the information related to the appointment when appropriate.

Legal Documentation

Encourage the patient and/or family members to complete necessary advanced medical directives and provide these documents to the patient’s physician:

  • A healthcare proxy
  • A power of attorney
  • A living will
  • A “do not resuscitate” order, when desired

As a home health care agency professional, you can do much to assist older adults in becoming active partners in managing their health.  The goal is to work together with your patients – and their families—to ensure they receive the best care possible!

Nightingale Homecare, one of Arizona’s top rated home health agencies, employing a staff of skilled professionals and caregivers that provide the full spectrum of home health care and private care services. Whether you need just an occasional visit or around the clock care in Scottsdale, Paradise Valley or Phoenix, Nightingale Homecare can help! Call (602) 504-1555 or contact us online to learn more.