I remember holding my mother’s finger and learning to walk and stumbling at every step but having the unconditional support of my parents. At every sneeze or cough my mother would get worried and take me to the doctor to get me diagnosed. Now when I myself, am married and have seen my parents age in front of me, I realize how nature gives us a chance to give back to our parents what they have given us in the nurturing stages of our life. Just like we must have had a certain fear of doctors as kids and would have definitely thrown tantrums at the thought of paying a visit to the doctor, our elderly parents are like children in their old age, trust me. They experience a certain kind of anxiety when they go to the doctor and prefer hiding their ailments or feel uncomfortable discussing their personal feelings.
- Try to Understand them
What do you think is possibly the best way to facilitate your parents in a way that they feel the least dependent on you and live a life of dignity alongside? Old age is that phase of life when your self-respect is of utmost importance. Experts believe that if you make a concerted effort to see the situation from your parent’s perspective, talk to them and acknowledge their qualms, you are more likely to establish an image of lending a helping hand rather than invading on their private space and trying to dictate their lives. In short making them feel helpless.
- Seek out for signs
You need to assess and evaluate and decide what your parent needs at the moment. If your parent is comfortable with professional services to come to their assistance, you can always do your survey and make them address their health concerns in the comforts of their home. Try to ease them out with conscious efforts. Make use of material things to look for their reaction. Replace the painting from the bed wall or give them some insights on some of the best memory mattress and watch out whether the back pain issue pops out. However, sometimes a doctor’s visit becomes unavoidable. This is when you need to effortlessly intervene and casually interrogate about what the doctor said, from your parents. If they have trouble recalling or fail to comprehend what the doctor suggested, it is an ideal time that you take control of the situation. Make your parents feel that you are at their disposal whenever you need them.
- Maintain their medical record
The most crucial part of keeping your health matters running smoothly is to keep track of the medical history as it plays a pivotal role in determining future health procedures. For this purpose you have to make your parent sign a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) form, which will give the doctor official permission to share all the details of the patient’s condition. Ask you parent’s physicians to provide you a comprehensive and accurate list of all the diagnoses made, intake of medicine, innate or genetic allergies. All the health care providers involved in your parent’s treatment, should be well connected. All medical records and necessary information should be in one place so that they are handy in times of need.
- Finally prepare for the appointment
Your parent and you should be on the same page to begin with. If you are your parent’s caregiver then nothing like it, otherwise involve that third person as well. Chalk out beforehand what you want to achieve in the conversation with the physician. You could most probably note down the area of concerns and/or topics you would like to gain insight into and set them on priority basis. Make sure the doctor has enough time to spare to give undivided attention and quality time.
Once you are emotionally involved and feel you are responsible for your parent’s good care and uncompromised health treatment, you will make a conscious effort to take your parent to the doctor and make the meeting a fruitful one. The rest is situational and up to you how you handle it.