Choosing a doctor, and getting the most from visits: A Guide for Older Adults
||Dr. Jodee Graifman Meddy, DO, MS, LNHA|
Co-founder of SeniorSite.com.
Dr. Jodee Meddy is a nationally acclaimed Doctor, Licensed Nursing Home Administrator and an expert on Long Term / Extended Care issues and Nursing Homes.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when choosing a doctor:
Are you comfortable with the doctor? Can you openly discuss your feelings
and talk about personal concerns such as sexual and emotional problems?
Does the doctor listen to you and answer all your questions about the
causes and treatment of your physical problems? Or is he or she vague,
impatient, or unwilling to answer?
Does the doctor take a thorough "history" on you and ask about past
physical and emotional problems, family medical history, drugs you are
taking, and other matters affecting your health?
Does the doctor seem to prescribe drugs automatically rather than deal
with the real causes of your medical problems?
Does the doctor attribute your problems to "old age"?
Once you've found a physician you're comfortable with, you'll want the
maximum benefit from your visits. Here are some tips:
Before your visit, make a list of any health problems you're
experiencing, as well as questions you wish to ask the doctor. While the
list should be in order of importance, it should still include even things
that seem trivial. You may want to keep a notebook and jot down problems as
they occur, rather than wait for your appointment.
Bring in all medications you are currently taking, both prescription and
over-the-counter. Include vitamins and other supplements, as well as herbal
and homeopathic preparations.
If memory is a problem, or if there is a language barrier, bring along a
family member or friend to help you communicate with the doctor. If you're
worried you'll forget some of the information the doctor is giving you, ask
that it be put in writing.
Discuss with your doctor any situations in your life that may be causing
you stress. Have you left your job, or moved to a new apartment? Is a loved
one experiencing health or money problems? Be honest about how you feel.
Tell your doctor if you're having trouble sleeping, or feeling depressed.
Talk about sexual difficulties, even if you feel embarrassed, or consider
the problems "normal" for your age. Talking about these issues with a health
professional can help you avoid depression or strained marital relations.