Transitioning into assisted living and nursing home facilities can be difficult for the whole family. As our loved ones age, keeping up with their health, medications, and other needs is an integral part of their care. Medical teams do their best to communicate with their patient’s families, but sometimes the lines of communication aren’t always open and clear. Putting systems in place that keep your family and loved one informed are important at every stage of care. At our Carespring facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky, we want our patients and their families to have the knowledge they need. Here are a few tips when it comes to creating a good relationship with your senior’s medical team.
Designate a Family Contact Person
When a patient has a large family network, it can be challenging to make sure all members are kept up to date on their loved one’s health. Choosing one person to contact their senior’s doctor or nurse and disperse the information to the rest of the family is best for everyone involved. When doctors receive multiple calls and emails from different family members, it’s difficult to remember who knows what.
Ask the Right Questions
For older adults, especially those with dementia or Alzheimer’s, remembering everything a doctor says during a visit can be nearly impossible. Choosing a family member, preferably the same person designated as the contact person, to attend doctor’s appointments will ensure that critical information is retained and shared.
Asking questions about medications, results of medical tests, or asking the doctor to reiterate instructions are all critical components of a visit. Don’t be afraid to ask too much! Take notes and ask for additional paperwork or information when necessary.
Families can’t be with their loved ones at all times! If you and your family live far from your loved one, it might be a good idea to hire additional help. Aides and hired caregivers are great options for out of town families. Hiring someone to attend doctor’s visits and support patients with daily needs like grocery shopping or taking medication can give all family members peace of mind.
Become Your Loved One’s Medical Power of Attorney
Legalizing your ability to make medical decisions for your loved one is a viable option for adults who are unable to make their own decisions. As a medical power of attorney, family members will be well prepared when critical decisions arise, like ending care, undergoing surgery, or accepting certain medications.
Caring for seniors takes many people! Staying informed and communicating with everyone involved keeps seniors happy and healthy.