How much of what a doctor tells your dad does he remember by the time he sees you? It’s not surprising to learn that he couldn’t hear everything that was said and didn’t stop to ask questions. He might not have understood all that he was told and was too embarrassed to admit it.
Become your dad’s advocate at his appointments and make sure he gets the best care possible. It also helps you know if there are lifestyle changes he should be making at home. Here are the steps you need to take.
Get Permissions in Place
It’s hard to advocate for your dad if doctors are not allowed to tell you anything. You need to have HIPAA permissions and, better, a power of attorney for his medical matters.
HIPAA permissions are easy to put in place. Your dad just needs to fill out a form in the doctor’s office. Medical power of attorney permissions are a little more complex and are best arranged with an attorney’s expertise.
Once you have these forms in hand, make sure your dad’s medical offices have copies. Keep copies in a file that you can bring with you to medical appointments just in case.
Ask questions as they arise. Encourage your dad to do the same. If you notice he’s nodding a lot and not saying anything, find out if he has questions. For example, while the doctor leaves the room so that your dad can get back into his clothes, ask him at that point if he has questions he’d like you to ask.
If you don’t understand something, keep asking until it’s clear. His doctor prescribes a blood pressure medication, but your dad’s blood pressure was 135/74. That’s a little high but not excessively so. See if there’s a reason the medication was prescribed over trying diet and exercise first.
Be Confident Speaking Up
Don’t be afraid to speak up on your dad’s behalf. He’s been forgetting things more frequently than before. You’re worried he may be in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, but his doctor says there is no way. Insist on a second opinion. It’s not uncommon for a doctor to miss the early signs because that doctor is not with your dad for hours each day.
In addition to serving as your dad’s advocate when it comes to his medical care, arrange for elderly care services. It’s the best way to make sure he has all of the help he needs.
When you have elderly care services to help your dad, you create a comprehensive care plan that makes sure he never feels alone or has to struggle to complete his daily tasks. Call our elderly care agency to discuss services and learn more about pricing.