Some seniors are perfectly capable of handling health appointments and related tasks. But there may come a time when you’ll need to be more involved with this aspect of care, as may be the case if your aging loved one has chronic health conditions, mobility limitations, or a progressive form of dementia. With situations like these, you’ll need to regularly interact with your loved one’s healthcare professionals. Here are five ways to accomplish this goal.
1. Cover Your Legal Bases
Because of privacy regulations, you’ll need to have legal permission on file to fully communicate with your loved one’s healthcare professionals. This can be done with a healthcare proxy or durable medical power of attorney. Another option is to have your loved one sign a consent form that gives you clearly stated permission to discuss health-related matters.
2. Take Notes During Visits
Go with your loved one to healthcare appointments as much as possible. Doing so will give you a chance to take notes about what’s discussed, prescribed, or recommended. Your loved one will then be able to concentrate more on the purpose of the appointments without being overly stressed or worrying about forgetting important information. Your notes can also serve as a point of reference as you provide care at home or if you have follow-up questions.
If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Montgomery homecare. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
3. Let Your Preferred Forms of Communication Be Known
Avoid frustrating instances of phone tag or trying to keep up with messages sent on various platforms by letting each of your loved one’s healthcare professionals know how you wish to communicate. If you prefer phone calls, provide a number you use and check frequently. On the other end of things, ask for a direct contact number to use for urgent situations. Also, keep contact info for each medical office handy.
4. Keep Your Own Records if Multiple Healthcare Professionals Are Involved
Don’t assume all your loved one’s medical professionals are on the same page. It’s easy for details to be overlooked when seniors are referred to different specialists or sent to various facilities for tests, treatments, or therapies. Keep track of everything that’s been done involving each of the healthcare professionals your loved one is currently interacting with in some way. Keep records related to:
• Tests ordered and the results
• Findings from physical examinations
• Medications prescribed
• Results of recommended treatments
A home caregiver can help you keep track of your loved one’s health status and remind him or her to take prescribed medications. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
5. Address Concerns Immediately
Because of the close nature of caregiving, you’ll likely notice anything out of the ordinary before a healthcare professional does. If you have concerns about your loved one, respectfully contact the appropriate physician or medical professional. Do this in situations such as when you may be noticing unusual reactions to medications or observing worsening physical or mental health issues. Bring up any health-related concerns you have as soon as they become evident. This way, appropriate steps, which might include adjusting medications or treatment plans or performing essential tests if you suspect an undiagnosed condition, can be taken as soon as possible.
Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Montgomery live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life. Schedule a free in-home consultation by giving us a call today at (334) 593-3988