Managing someone else’s healthcare is a huge responsibility. Your senior loved one may depend on you to comprehend what he or she cannot or need you to find out how to plan his or her care after a new diagnosis. These strategies can help you communicate with healthcare professionals as a caregiver so every appointment is productive.
1. Encourage Your Loved One’s Involvement
Your loved one needs to be in agreement with your involvement to the fullest extent possible. Let your loved one know if you plan to speak with his or her doctor, and consider getting your parent’s written consent for you to ask questions. During appointments, try to direct the conversation to your loved one as much as you can. This shows respect and helps your loved one understand more of why he or she needs certain types of care once you get home.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Fort Worth Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
2. Use Multiple Methods of Communication
Verbal communication is important during in-person visits. However, there are other ways to communicate with healthcare professionals. Often, simple questions can be answered with an email or a quick phone call to the office. You might also ask the medical staff to send important documents or instructions via email so you can add them to your records. If you plan to speak verbally, consider writing down your questions to make sure you don’t have to call back later to ask things you forgot.
3. Ask Specific Questions
Too often, family caregivers ask general questions that lead to generic answers. Instead of asking the doctor how your parent is doing, try inquiring about a specific symptom or change you’ve noticed. This lets the healthcare professional take the conversation exactly where you need it to go. Being able to find out exactly what your parent’s latest test results were instead of just hearing he or she is doing fine gives you more insight into how to handle his or her care.
Caring for a senior loved one can be difficult, but compassionate help is just a phone call away. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Fort Worth live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life.
4. Be Willing to Ask for Clarification
Discussions about health get complicated. If your loved one’s physician or nurse provides too much information at once, it’s okay to ask him or her to slow down. You can also ask him or her to rephrase statements, explain confusing vocabulary, or demonstrate a procedure, such as changing a dressing, while you watch. By being willing to admit what you don’t know, you can acquire information you might miss otherwise.
5. Bring Along an Advocate
Talking to a medical team is intimidating, and your own anxieties may interfere with your ability to communicate well. If you know you’re worried about your loved one’s health, consider bringing along an extra caregiver. The other person can help you remain calm as you wait for a potentially upsetting diagnosis, and he or she can serve as an extra set of ears to help you remember critical information or ask important questions.
If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of home care service. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping. If you need professional home care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (817) 720-5556.