Oftentimes as we get older, we end up having to take care of the people who have always cared for us. Becoming the caregiver to your senior parents can be stressful, but that stress can be lessened by working with an adult and senior care doctor. In addition to offering checkups, vaccinations and sick care, they diagnose, treat and manage a range of conditions, including falls, incontinence, dementia, sensory impairment and other changes that occur with aging.
Adult and senior care doctors work with caregivers often, so they understand you are part of the health care team for your aging parent and will include you in the decision making process, and work with you to successfully complete an advance directive. As the caregiver, it is important for you to encourage your parent to follow their health care plan, which could include going for preventative screenings, taking medications as prescribed and maintaining an active, social lifestyle. If you notice resistance on these items, you should discuss with your parents’ doctor.
During your appointment with the adult and senior care doctor, common questions to ask include:
Is his/her blood pressure, heart rate and other vitals within a healthy range?
Is there anything he/she should be doing differently to lead a healthy lifestyle?
How can we reduce or stop any of his/her current medications?
Can you explain more about his/her illness/condition?
What are different treatment options that we should be considering?
What can we do to prevent complications?
How does this medication treat his/her condition? Are there side effects?
What are the important screenings (colonoscopy, mammogram, pelvic exams, etc.) and vaccinations for his/her age?
What questions haven’t I asked that I should have?
Being a caregiver to an aging parent involves many different areas, such as finances, health care and general decision making. By going to an adult and senior care provider, you have a trusted partner by your side to help you and your parent make the best decisions for their health.