A recurring problem we encounter with our families and caregivers at Centennial Adultcare Center is frustration with their physician in not “fixing” the difficulty they are having with their loved one. Many of this issue occur because their time with the physician is short, their loved one is often with them, and they often fail to articulate their difficulty in a manner the physician understands.
1. Ask to talk to the physician without your loved one present. This way, you can be forthcoming, open, and honest with them, and not “sugar-coat” any difficulties in the presence of your loved one. If agitation is increasing or becoming more frequent, tell the physician and ask if anything can be done. A medication change, to a new medicine or even a change in dosage can often fix this behavior problem.
2. Do not expect the doctor to “fix” something you have not told him or her is a problem. If your loved one is up and down all night, tell the physician and ask if a sleep aid is appropriate. Adjusting their daily schedule and regulating the sleep rhythm is often a simple fix.
3. Before visiting the physician, make a list of the things you want to ask or address with him or her. Then ask the questions before you leave, taking note of the responses. Tell the nurse or whomever you see first that you have some issues you need to address with the physician before you see him or her, so that he or she knows they will need to spend some extra time with you.
4. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask the doctor to explain something a second time if you do not understand. Be sure you have him/her explain instructions or changes rather than asking the nurse to explain everything after the physician leaves.
5. ALWAYS tell the physician if your loved one saw any other doctor or received emergency room treatment for any reason, as he or she may be completely unaware of such visits. Don’t assume a hospital or other provider informed your physician of any treatment or medication provided, whether temporary or permanent, even though you requested them to.
Hopefully these hints will help provide a better outcome with your next visit with your physician. For more than 32 years, we have helped families and caregivers communicate with their physicians. We develop personalized, multi-disciplinary care plans for each member and update them on a regular basis with changes in behaviors, physical and cognitive abilities, medications, and more. We involve the families, caregivers, physicians, our nursing staff, program staff, social worker, dietician and administration to individualize each and every care plan for the benefit of our members. Please call us at 615-383-3399, or any of our locations, or contact us here today, and see how Centennial Adultcare Center can help you and your loved one.