Taking Charge: Preparing For Your Next Doctor’s Visit

by Audrey Miller on January 24, 2015

in Caregiving, Dementia, Health Care

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How many doctor’s visits per year do you think most senior’s attend? How many specialists appointments did you attend with an aging relative? If there are concerns about memory loss, the Alzheimers Society has prepared a wonderful check list to help you prepare for your doctor’s appointment.

As a professional care manager, I have the opportunity to attend medical appointments with my clients. As part of the preparation I review their medical history and summarize the relevant reports, test results as well as include details of their current medications (Tip: it is also helpful to bring a pharmacy print out).

Any questions and concerns are written down. It is also helpful to speak with the current caregivers and review their log book notes (Tip: reputable agencies require their Personal Support Workers to document daily).

As each new doctor typically asks the same questions as part of their history taking, this can be difficult for many of us, may be tired or are not accurate historians. How many times have we all gone to see a new doctor who does not seem to be very knowledgeable or familiar with our medical history or reasons for the referral? It can be difficult to keep track of our complicated health histories, especially as we age and have co morbid conditions. Without electronic health records being uniformly available, the onus is on each of us as patients to know and keep our own records.

In the hopes of improving communication and timely access to care, we have created a ‘Keeper of the Information’, a Wellness Binder that holds and records this critical and possibly life saving information. I have always found the doctor to be appreciative of having a summary that can be been presented in a comprehensive manner.

Having ready access to your own health history which can be easily summarized or provided at your next medical appointment is probably one of the best things you can do for yourself and a loved one. The Wellness Binder can be ordered here or call our office at 416 658 8887.

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