As your loved ones grow older, they often become less able to bring themselves to medical appointments. And yet, they need the care provided during those appointments more than ever. As a loving friend or family member, it is helpful for you to take them to their medical appointments. This is not always as easy as you'd hope, but the following tips can help.
Elderly adults often take a long time to get into vehicles and get out of vehicles. If they forget something in the house and have to go back, this could add an extra 10 or 15 minutes to the time it takes to get in the car. To avoid being late to their medical appointment, plan on picking them up extra early. If it's a 10-minute drive to the medical clinic, plan on picking them up a half-hour before the appointment. It's safer for everyone if you give yourselves plenty of time. Similarly, make sure you schedule the appointment when you don't have to be somewhere promptly afterward. You don't want to have to rush to get your loved one back into the car after their doctor's visit.
Bring a list of medications
Older adults are often on several medications. Especially if the names of those medications are long and hard to pronounce, your loved one may not remember them when the doctor asks what medications they're taking. Write down a list of your loved one's meds before their appointment, and bring this list with you. Even if you don't go into the exam room with the patient, you can hand them this list right before they do go in.
Stay with your loved one
Medical clinics can be busy places. There may be several waiting rooms, assistants calling patients from several halls, and lots of administrators wandering about with paperwork. This can be overwhelming to older adults whose hearing and vision are no longer perfect. Make sure you stay with your loved one so you can help them navigate all of this and go with the right nurse when their name is called.
Help them read through any paperwork
Most medical clinic visits come with lots of paperwork, from insurance forms to permission documents. Your loved one may not be able to read these forms well, and they may not understand everything the forms say. Help them out by reading and explaining the forms so they know what they are signing.
Visiting a medical clinic with an elderly loved one is a lot easier when you follow the tips above. Being there for your loved one is one of the kindest things you can do.