Planning ahead can help you and your loved ones get the most from a medical appointment.
Do you have an upcoming appointment with your primary care provider? Or are you caring for a sick spouse or an elderly parent? Follow these tips before your next trip to the doctor.
1. Make a list.
Write down all medications—prescribed and over-the-counter. This includes vitamins and herbal supplements. Medical professionals will also need to know the dose amounts and how often medicines are taken. In addition, jot down any topics you or your loved one would like to discuss with the doctor. Preparing questions ahead of time will help you cover all the issues. It can also be helpful to have notes about symptoms and to bring any relevant test results.
2. Plan ahead.
Allow plenty of time to get ready and to travel to the appointment. For virtual visits, be sure to test your phone or computer and internet connection. If you don’t feel comfortable setting up your video conference, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor’s staff for help.
3. Bring the right tools.
The National Institute on Aging reminds us that hearing and seeing your medical provider is vital to a successful appointment. Do you or your loved one need eyeglasses or a hearing aid? If so, bring those along with you to the appointment. If you are required to wear a mask, be sure it fits properly and doesn’t obscure your view. Bringing the right paperwork is also important. Do you have the latest insurance card? If your loved one can’t make medical decisions, do you have a power of attorney for healthcare on file? If not, bring one along.
Keep these tips in mind to help stay healthy and prepared for the next doctor visit. And if you don’t yet have a primary care physician, here’s why it’s so important and how you can find one.
Published on 12/15/21
Photo Credit: Getty