Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Communicating with Mom's Doctor

A major aspect of quality home care is the ability to communicate with your elderly loved one's doctor. This is important in terms of maintaining an understanding of your senior's medical needs, of any symptoms or health conditions you should look out for, and of the purpose of prescribed medications and other treatments. Paul and his mother, Marlene, who live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, know very well the importance of maintaining clear lines of communication with physicians. Doing so may not always be easy, but it is possible.

Why Communicating with Your Senior's Doctor is Important
Paul realized that he knew nothing about Marlene's health when he started providing home care to his mother. She was on several medications, and he administered them as directed, but he did not know if he should be looking for any adverse side effects or even what these medications were treating. He decided that it was time to speak with Marlene's doctor.

After sitting down with her doctor, Paul recognized that understanding her medical condition and the purpose of her prescriptions would make it much easier to provide home care. After the meeting, he was confident that he could provide the level of care that his mother needed because, finally, he understood what that level of care was.
Setting an Appointment with Your Senior's Doctor

Due to HIPAA and other privacy policies, you may find it difficult to speak to your elderly loved one's doctor about their condition; however, with the permission of your senior, you should be able to talk to their doctor about their medical needs.
Paul scheduled a consultation with Marlene's doctor in order to speak to him about her medical condition. Although this worked best for him, it is true that alternatives may prove more effective in other doctor's offices. For this reason, it is recommended that you call ahead and explain the situation. Tell the receptionist that you are providing home care to your elderly loved one and need to speak to the doctor about their medical condition. The receptionist should then be able to tell you what kind of appointment will work best.

After your initial meeting with the doctor, Paul and Marlene recommend accompanying your loved one to subsequent appointments to keep up to date on medical needs.

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