It’s reached a point where your mom needs someone to join her at the doctor. Maybe she doesn’t hear as well as she used to. Or, she might have cognitive issues that make it hard for her to remember what she was told. You plan to join her at her next round of medical appointments. What should you do to be well-prepared for these visits? How can home care help your parent with their new need for company at their appointments? Find out more here.
Get the Paperwork in Order
Your mom needs to have her paperwork in order to ensure her doctors can talk to you. A power of attorney allows you to act on your mom’s behalf if she couldn’t speak for herself. That’s a form she should consider drawing up with a lawyer.
An advanced directive is another essential legal form. It’s a form that designates who she would want to help make medication decisions, what her wishes are when it comes to life support measures, and if she’d like to be an organ donor.
At the very least, your mom should have HIPAA paperwork in place to allow her doctors to share her test results and medical information with you. She can fill out that form at her doctor’s office. Some doctors also have advance directive forms available.
Compile a List of Questions in Advance
Draw up a list of questions before the appointment. If you are curious why she’s taking anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications, note that on your list. You’ve had concerns about the side effects of some of her pills, write it down.
When the doctor asks if you have questions, pull out your list and go over everything. It’s better to have the list ready than try to remember everything on the spot.
Ask the rest of the family if they have questions. It’s best to take care of everyone’s questions at the same time. That way, you’re not calling repeatedly for the next few days when you have other pressing things to take care of.
Take Pictures of Her Prescriptions
Take pictures of your mom’s prescription bottles. Her doctor will want to know what she’s taking and how often. If she uses any over-the-counter medications or supplements, take photos of those, too.
This prevents the risk of overmedicating or taking pills that counteract each other. If your mom sees several doctors, she may be getting different prescriptions from all of them. That can lead to problems with too big a dose or medications that cause additional side effects.
Does Someone Else Need to Take Her?
What if you can’t get out of work to join her? Hire home care to provide transportation for your senior. Your mom has caregivers to bring her to and from the appointment. And, you have caregivers to update you with everything the doctor said.