Many seniors find visits to the doctor to be frustrating. The time is too short, they don’t get the information they need or it is confusing, and they don’t feel heard. What can you do so that you leave your appointments feeling informed?
- Call ahead requesting a longer appointment. If you request one, they can usually find a time to schedule it.
- Bring a list with your questions, symptoms, concerns and changes in health. Bring lists of your specialists and medications. You can also bring a short summary of your health situation.
- If the doctor doesn’t get to all of your questions, leave the list and ask the doctor to get back to you
- Ask all doctors for copies of tests and reports. Your doctor may not have specialist reports and it is helpful if you bring them.
- Bring someone with you. Sometimes the information you get can be overwhelming, and it is good to have a second set of ears.
- You should leave your appointment knowing what your condition is and what to do about it. Ask if there is anything you can do to help. If you have a new prescription, write down the name and why you are taking it.
- If surgery is recommended, make sure you understand why, and then get a second opinion
One more way to understand what is going on with your health is to do research. If you use the internet, www.webmd.com
has a wealth of information. Or go the the public library and ask the librarian to help you. But be sure to understand… it’s your right!