Planning for a Doctor Appointment: Making the Most Of Your Visit!
Our Health Insurance plans often dictate the amount of time your Physician has with each patient visit.
When you have a chronic health condition, it’s more important than ever to make the most of your time
at the Doctor’s office. Below are some helpful tips to maximize your visit!
- In general, an appointment should address more than your medical condition. Your Physician
will want to know about any changes in your medical health, emotional health, and lifestyle.
- Consider bringing an advocate or “note taker” to your appointments. There is often a lot of
information and if you have a chronic condition, often family members want to know the
outcome of the appointment. Having someone along to take notes will provide a reference
point for you and your loved ones.
- Rank your concerns and discuss the most important topic first. Human nature often leads us to
address the most emotionally-concerning topic last.
- Compile your list of medications in advance of the visit. Medication includes prescribed and
over-the-counter, including: vitamins, herbal supplements and remedies, eye drops and
laxatives. It is also important to tell your Doctor when you take a medication (one hour before
eating, for example) and how (with a full glass or water, for example).
- Recognize that symptoms can be physical, or emotional, and symptoms can be adverse
reactions to your medication.
- Share any visits to the Emergency Room, any falls or any “near falls.” Your Insurance may
cover extra therapy to stabilize or improve your gait and strength.
- Prepare to share lifestyle changes since your last visit, including: use of new assistive devices,
changes in sleep pattern, bowel or bladder changes, intimacy or sexual habits, alcohol
consumption or smoking.
- Stick to the point. It may be tempting to “vent” your frustrations, but you may miss out on the
expert advice from your Physician.
- Finally, be honest with your Doctor. Your goals are the same: to maintain health and wellness.
Withholding information will only prevent your Doctor from offering the best treatment.
Tips taken from NIH Senior Health
Inspired by personal experiences as a caregiver for her father who had Parkinson Disease, Ruth Busalacchi,Certified Senior Advisor,is the Owner of SYNERGY HomeCare; which has been serving families since 2010. Ruth also has many years of experience in social and residential services,including licensing and operating group homes. Ruth has a degree from Concordia University in Business Management and Human Resources.