Your dad always becomes anxious before doctor appointments. It’s a simple checkup, but he stresses out. Once he’s nervous, it’s a struggle to get him into the car and to the medical office. Here are some tips on helping him prepare for his yearly checkup.
Prepare a List of Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications and Supplements.
Your dad’s doctor needs a list of everything he takes. If you can, take a picture to show him. Make sure the dosage and strength is clear and easy to read. If not, write down the name, dosage, and strength. Include any non-prescription vitamins or minerals that he takes.
Jot Down Questions to Bring With You.
Keep a running list of questions you have about your dad’s health. You might have seen an ad for the shingles vaccine and wonder if he’s had it. Perhaps you have questions about what time of day he should take his blood pressure medication.
With the list in hand, you won’t forget to ask anything. You can also write down answers and type them up for any other families or caregivers involved in your dad’s care.
Ask About Special Instructions for Any Tests That Are Important.
When you make the appointment or a few days before the appointment, find out what tests are likely to happen. If your dad is going to have to have a blood test to check cholesterol or blood sugars, his doctor may want him to fast for a few hours before the test.
Find out in advance. You’ll know to keep your dad from having food a few hours prior to the appointment.
Bring Current Insurance Cards and Important Paperwork.
Every year, health insurance companies often issue a new insurance card. You’ll need to have this card available for your dad’s doctor. If he’s changed insurance companies, they’ll need the information for the new company. Make sure you have it available.
You should also bring any important medical paperwork like a medical power of attorney, HIPAA permissions, or advance directives. Bring those for the office to copy if they don’t have it on file.
Have a caregiver help you schedule appointments and get your dad to and from his doctor’s office. If you can’t miss work to drive him, a caregiver can. Transportation is one of many home care services for seniors.