Senior Medical Appointments and Procedures Made Easier with These Tips
The statistics are alarming: a recent study conducted by the Annals of Family Medicine uncovered that a typical primary care physician has a “panel” of more than 2,000 patients – those who are under his or her care. Further, the study outlined that such a physician would need to “spend 21.7 hours per day to provide all recommended acute, chronic and preventive care for a panel of 2,500 patients.”
It’s no wonder that we as patients, not to mention the doctors themselves, feel so rushed and stressed. With the need for so many senior medical appointments, treatments, and procedures due to the many chronic diseases and effects of aging that are prevalent, it’s more important than ever to take steps to maximize the time we have with our doctors.
In our previous blog post, we outlined some information and questions to prepare in advance for senior medical appointments. To expand upon that further, we’ve provided a helpful checklist with questions specific to two of the most comprehensive senior medical concerns: medications and hospitalizations.
Questions to Ask About Medications:
- Will insurance (or Medicare) cover the cost for this medication?
- Is a generic form of the medication available?
- What side effects might I experience?
- How will I know if the medication is working?
- What should I do if I forget to take a dose?
- Are there any foods or other medications I need to avoid while taking this medication?
- Do I need to refrain from drinking alcohol?
- How long will I need to take the medicine?
Questions to Ask About Hospitalizations/Surgical Procedures:
- When should I check in to the hospital?
- What can I expect before the surgery or procedure?
- How long will the procedure take?
- Where will my family wait for me?
- What effects will the procedure have, both short- and long-term?
- What medications will be prescribed for me?
- How long will my recovery period be?
- What restrictions will I have to follow after the procedure?
Brainstorm any additional questions you may have specific to your senior loved one’s needs, and add them to the list prior to his or her medical appointment or procedure. A little pre-planning can go a long way towards helping the senior feel more in control and relaxed about what is to come.