Caregivers: How to Make the Most from Doctor’s Appointments

how to prepare for doctor's appointments

Whether you’re caring for your aging relatives or are a professional caregiver, going to doctor’s appointments are probably part of your schedule. It can be intimidating and stressful to remember everything you need to regarding doctor’s visits but these tips from Council on Aging of Middle Tennessee can help you get the most from each doctor’s appointment.

Before your appointment, list your questions and concerns on paper and review your list when you’re in the waiting room.

Once in the doctor’s appointment, make sure to share all relevant information such as:

• Describe any symptoms. When did the problem start? How does your parent/relative/patient feel? Does anything appear to trigger the problem? Is it worse at night? What has been done to relieve the problem?
• Give your doctor a list of medications. Bring in all of the pill bottles or make a list that includes all over-the-counter, vitamins, herbal products, and other supplements. Make sure to include medicines from all doctors.
• Be honest about diet, physical activity, smoking, alcohol or drug use and sexual history. Not sharing information with the doctor and nurse may keep them from running the correct screenings or tests.
• Ask lots of questions. Be sure to ask questions about medical conditions/illnesses, test results, medications, and recommended treatments. Don’t leave something out because you’re worried about taking too much time.
• Take notes, to help you remember what was discussed.
• Keep doctors informed of changes in health. Specialists may not find out about medication changes or recent hospitalizations until you tell them. If health or medication changes occur, call all doctors and specialists and make sure that they know of these changes. They may want to see you sooner.

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