The experience of going to a routine annual medical exam or bi-annual dental check up changes as you age.
This is especially true if you are the adult child of an elderly parent. Going to the dentist for a cleaning can turn into a full days event both physically and emotionally. My advice to the adult children or spouse of an elderly love one: plan, plan, plan and ask for help.
Booking Appointments: Know what time of day your aging parents are in the best mood. Going to the dentist can make your parents anxious, so planning around what time makes them feel most comfortable is important to ease any fears they might have. If your aging parent is better at 11am in the morning then book the appointment according. If it requires and extra month of wait time for that time slot, from our experience with seniors it’s better to wait.
Weather: Assist your aging parent or elderly spouse with having all their re-occurring medical check ups scheduled in the best weather possible. Avoid cold months and be mindful of seasonal storms. This can help diminish any stress you or your parents might have about transportation to and from appointments. Remember when booking your annual check up: you are the client and special scheduling accommodations should be afforded to your aging parent. Don’t be afraid to ask for special times, especially if your parents are not independently mobile.
Dealing with Alzheimer’s/Dementia: Sometimes, depending on your loved one’s condition, it’s best not to tell them in advance that they have a doctor appointment. More often than not, aging people with Alzheimer’s or some type of dementia interpret any medical appointment as a “problem” and will react emotionally. To avoid this reaction, do not tell them until the morning of. Also, if your aging parent has Alzheimer’s or a form of dementia inform the medical establishment in advance and explain that waiting in the lobby for extended periods of time can not be tolerated for not only your elderly loved one but it’s the benefit of the other patients.
Going to a medical appointment with your aging parent does not need to be a stressful experience nor should it be avoided. If you call Alvita Care, we can give some specific suggestions for your aging parents needs. Also, we work with the medical community that will make special accommodations for the annual appointment for your aging parent.