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5 Questions Family Caregivers Need to Ask the Doctor

By Patricia Schumacher, 9:00 am on

One of the most important duties of a family caregiver is to take his or her aging loved one to the doctor. This gives caregivers an opportunity to understand their loved one’s health conditions better and provide tailored support. Here are a few questions Rhode Island elderly care professionals suggest family caregivers should ask their loved one’s doctor.

1. What Tests Should We Schedule?

Depending on your loved one’s age and health, he or she might need a comprehensive medical checkup once every few months. Consider annual medical screening for your loved one for common health conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and cognitive decline. If the doctor disagrees with any of the results, he or she can schedule more tests.

2. Does My Loved One Need Different Medication?

Whenever your loved one gets a new medication or stops taking an old one, his or her doctor must give you updated information. In some cases, you might need to speak with a pharmacologist to make sure a new medications will not negatively interact with an old one. You should also ask the doctor about any withdrawal side effects, as they tend to develop with time.

3. What Side Effects Can My Loved One Expect from This New Medication?

Many types of medication can produce severe side effects, and professional Rhode Island caregivers may know how to manage them. A few common side effects include insomnia, lethargy, a loss of appetite, and mood changes.

4. Does My Loved One Need to Make Dietary Changes?

Some of the most common medical conditions are caused by unhealthy diets. Unless your loved one enjoys healthy food, you will need to be careful about what he or she eats. After the checkup, ask the doctor for minor tips and suggestions for your loved one’s diet, such as lowering sodium or increasing water intake. 

5. May I Have Copies of My Loved One’s Medical Records?

Even if you are not given all of your loved one’s medical records, you should ask for paperwork on the test results and prescribed medications. You can then make multiple copies to keep with your loved one at all times. Everyone in your family who helps with caregiving should also be given a copy of the paperwork.

Regular visits to the doctor can help keep your loved one safe from major health conditions and delay the onset of cognitive decline. Hiring a caregiver can ensure your loved one visits the doctor frequently, even if you have other errands to tend to. Professional caregivers at Home Care Assistance assist seniors with medication schedules, mobility, and transportation, making sure they don’t miss out on their doctor’s appointment. To learn more about our high-quality live-in and respite care in Rhode Island, call us today at (401) 284-0979.