Finding a good primary health care provider, or doctor, is something worth taking the time to look into carefully, especially the older we get through the years. As we age, our doctor needs to be aware and knowledgeable of the changes in our bodies and minds and the specific medical needs of seniors. Use the following checklist to help you start finding the best health care provider for you.
1. They Respect You and Listen to You
Find a doctor who will respectfully listen to your questions and concerns and will take them seriously. Your doctor should not make you feel rushed to rack your brains for all your health care questions at once. They should answer your questions and be patient regardless if they have to repeat themselves or explain further no matter how busy their schedule is that day. Their job is to make sure you leave your appointment understanding everything that is going on with your body and what to do to keep up your health. Furthermore, you want to have a doctor that treats you with dignity and respect. And that includes eye contact! They should look at you when speaking to you about your issues, not at someone else who is in the room like your family member who might have brought you there. No one should treat you like a child- you are important.
2. You Feel Comfortable Around Them
Atmosphere is so important to the overall mood of a doctor’s office. Pick a health care provider that has a cheerful staff that gets along with all the patients and doctors. A connected and positive energy in the office will make you less anxious about your doctor’s visit, even for the most important or serious appointments. You should feel comfortable not only with your specific doctor, but also with the nursing staff and the facility they offer. A good environmentas a whole in a doctor’s office will create an environment that you feel at ease going to each time.
They Always Take Extra Care with Your Treatment
A doctor needs to, of course, take extra care and caution before putting a senior on new medication or before changing to a new course of action for any certain health concern. Your doctor has a responsibility to stay aware of not ordering any overly stressful tests to your body that are unnecessary. Your doctor should also know when it is appropriate to lower your dosage of a certain medication or stop that medication for you completely. Different age groups have various medication needs. Your health care provider should know the difference between the appropriate dosages for your age range versus a middle-aged adult or a child.
They Understand Senior Health Care
Seniors require different medical treatment than younger adults, so your doctor should know the difference in how to treat you versus other age groups. There are drugs and medications that patients over 65 no longer need or should take. Your doctor should also know what vitamins would be the most beneficial for seniors. They need to explain proper mediation management to you and, if necessary, to your family members and/or caregiver. They need to know which vaccines, yearly exams, and other tests seniors should take and how to administer those exams to the best of their ability. They also should know which areas of your health they need to keep a closer eye on because of your age group (this could include bone health, nervous system health, cognitive health, and/or certain bodily functions).
In Cottage Assisted Living of Montgomery, we make sure our residents and their families are referred to good doctors because we know that your most important asset is your body and mind.