Caregivers in Boynton Beach, FL- It’s all About Communication

Caregiver – Overcoming Communication Issues

It is essential to have clear communication between the doctor and the senior to ensure they receive optimal medical care. However, several barriers exist that often prevent clear lines of communications resulting in problems later.

Some of the communication issues

  • The senior may have a hearing deficit which gets in the way of properly understanding what the doctor is saying. The senior may feel too self-conscious to admit they aren’t hearing well.
  • Doctor’s offices can seem intimidating, especially for seniors.
  • Many seniors grew up in a generation where complaining was a sign of weakness, so they may not say all the details of what’s bothering them. They also went through times where there was little to no money for medical attention, so they may be reluctant to say anything.
  • Depression is common among seniors but may be overlooked because most of the doctor’s visit is taken up with vital signs and reviewing medical test results.
  • The senior may be fearful of bringing up some symptoms, either because they are afraid of what the outcome will be, or because it may be something embarrassing like incontinence issues.
  • Remembering a lot of details at one time is a barrier for some seniors. The doctor may give a great deal of information during the office visit and the senior can’t remember it all or can’t write it down fast enough to catch all the important parts.

How to alleviate communication issues?

  • It is highly recommended that a close and trusted person attend the doctor visit along with the loved one. It could be a family member, a caregiver who is close to the senior, a trusted friend, etc. The senior will feel less intimidated and has someone there for moral support. This companion can also take notes while the doctor is talking so that none of his instructions are missed.
  • Make a list of questions to take to the office visit before your loved one goes. That way he or she won’t forget what to ask and keeps her focused on finding a solution to her medical problem.
  • Make and keep a notebook that contains all of the vital medical information for your loved one. Included in the notebook should be information such as medical history, current medications, diagnostic tests and their results, allergies, and extra paper to write down office visit notes on. Insurance provider details should also be included.