As your parent grows older, they may begin to require assistance with a few things, one of which is attending doctor's appointments. Giving your parent a ride to the doctor's office can be a big help. Even if they do still drive, it's nice for them not to have to worry about driving while they're also focusing on seeing the doctor. But once you're both at the doctor's office, what else can you do to help? Here are a few tips.
Provide a list of medications your parent is taking.
Older adults sometimes end up being prescribed certain medications by one doctor and then other medications by another doctor. Their list of medications can grow quite long, and they may not remember all of them to share with the doctor. Make your own list of medications prior to the doctor's appointment, and bring it with you. Share it with the doctor at the beginning of your parent's visit. This will help the doctor diagnose your parent and recommend the right treatments.
Help your parent sign forms.
There are often a lot of forms to sign at the beginning of a doctor's visit. It will be important for your parent to sign them, but they do need to know what they're signing for. Explain each form to your parent in language you know they can understand, and guide them in signing as needed.
Ask to accompany them into the exam room.
Your parent may wish to go into the exam room alone. However, it is worth asking them if they would like you to accompany them. If they do agree to this, you can be really helpful. Hold their clothing as they change into the exam gown. Help them describe their symptoms and questions to the doctor when asked. Take notes as the doctor speaks about the possible diagnosis and treatment. Be careful not to answer in place of your parent, but do step in, as needed, if you think there's something they have forgotten or left out.
Collect any prescriptions.
If your parent is given any prescriptions to have filled, you can take these to the pharmacy with them. This way, they are less likely to misplace the prescription note. You can also listen to the instructions from the pharmacist to ensure your parent follows them correctly.
When your parents are older, it is helpful for you to accompany them to doctor's visits. Your presence and guidance can help ensure they get the treatment they need.