How Elderly Caregivers Can Be Advocates for Seniors at Doctor Appointments

Professional elderly caregivers are invaluable to families with an aging loved one who needs assistance. From help with bathing to cooking to medication compliance, another important advantage of having an elderly caregiver is that she can be an advocate during doctor visits.

Doctor appointments can be stressful for all of us, but they can be especially difficult for seniors. In addition to the various health problems they may have, the stress of going to the appointment and remembering what was discussed can be a challenge. Elderly caregivers can not only make sure they get to the appointment, but that all health issues are talked about and remembered as well.

Tips for Elderly Caregiver Advocacy Before and During an Appointment

* One of the first things elderly caregivers can do prior to an appointment is to request that “new patient” forms be mailed to the patient. This gives the elderly caregiver the ability to assist seniors with accurately completing forms in a relaxed setting, and limits their anxiety when they arrive at the appointment.

* An elderly caregiver can also write down symptoms and questions in preparation for the doctor visit. A list ensures that everything is covered during the appointment, and it ultimately improves communication because there can be more meaningful interaction between the senior and the doctor. A prepared list can also help the doctor make diagnoses and recommendations quickly and accurately.

* Elderly caregivers should also document the doctor appointment. Whether using a pen and paper or a tape recorder, a complete and accurate record of the visit is critical. Since the senior’s memory is a typical concern, writing down or recording the visit ensures that the diagnosis, treatment plan, medication regimen, etc. are remembered. Doctors appreciate the thoroughness. Proper documentation by the elderly caregiver also eliminates any second-guessing by the senior and increases better health outcomes.

* Asking the right questions is another advantage of having an elderly caregiver accompany a senior to a doctor appointment. It may be as simple as saying, “I don’t understand,” or “What do I do if XYZ happens?” Whatever the statement or question, it is the elderly caregiver’s job to be prepared and make sure all concerns are properly addressed. When a senior may be slow to comprehend a question or be embarrassed to ask one, the elderly caregiver is the advocate that can make sure all medical language, diagnoses, and treatment orders are understood.

A doctor visit doesn’t have to be confusing for seniors. Rather than being stressful, it can be an informative, calming, and rewarding experience when an elderly caregiver is an advocate on their behalf.

If you are in search of a professional elderly caregiver for your loved one, visit or call 877.422.2270 for more information.


About The Author

By: Rhiannon Acree

Rhiannon Acree is the founder and president of Cambrian Homecare. From its Long Beach, California inception in 1996, Cambrian Homecare now serves four Southern California counties, employing outstanding caregivers that provide customized, flexible, non-medical homecare seven days a week. Visit or call 877.422.2270.

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  • LAAAC is managed by St. Barnabas Senior Services; Funded, in part, by Archstone Foundation.
  • St. Barnabas Senior Services

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