Clear communication with you or your love one’s doctor is an important piece of the elder care continuum partnership that will ensure the best treatment and care are being provided. The National Institutes of Health advises, “Asking the right questions and obtaining quality information about prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery will help ensure safety, prevent errors, and improve health.” They suggest sharing information about all medications you or your loved one is being prescribed as to avoid over medication, being open and honest about symptoms so the correct diagnosis can be made, and making sure to ask any questions you may have in order to fully understand any instructions given after a hospital stay or operation. This will ensure the best recovery possible. You may also want to bring a list of questions or concerns with you to the doctor visits. Having questions prepared in advance will allow you to engage in a meaningful conversation with your doctor that addresses all of your concerns. Bringing along a family member or friend can also be helpful in this situation. Please remember that you should never feel shy or embarrassed about asking any questions regarding you or your loved one’s health!
For further information, the National Institute on Aging offers a publication that provides useful information to aid in better communication with your doctor: http://www.nia.nih.gov/sites/default/files/talking_with_your_doctor.pdf.