Your relationship with your doctor is unique. She or he has a profound effect on the length and quality of your life. Therefore, like in all important relationships, the key is how well you communicate.
Communications between a doctor and a senior adult can be challenging. The senior may be under emotional stress or embarrassed during an office visit. He or she may be suffering from illnesses or experiencing cognitive challenges. They may not hear or see well. Many seniors are reluctant to question the doctor or even discuss concerns they have.
These issues are compounded by the fact that, as we age, we make more doctor appointments, undergo more tests, take more medications, and receive more treatments than any other time in our lives. Finally, if the doctor tends to use medical jargon or quickly glosses over instructions, very little is communicated or correctly understood.
Benefits of a Care Manager: Advocates and Guides
Enter the care manager — a professional experienced in the complex and sometimes stressful environment of caring for the elderly. Among the many areas of knowledge required for the job is an in-depth understanding of how the healthcare system works. Also, the care manager is part of a team of healthcare professionals that can be called upon to provide a wide array of medical and personal care services where the senior lives.
The care manager can:
- Help identify appropriate doctors
- Ask important questions during the appointment
- Encourage patients to express their concerns to the doctor
- Explain instructions and options
- Answer the senior’s questions
- Provide a customized care plan
- Explain the care plan to family members
- Help the senior comply with taking medications
- Coordinate future medications and treatments
- Translate medical jargon
- Keep the doctor and specialists informed
- Follow up after receiving test results
- Conduct ongoing assessments
- Coordinate next care steps
- Assist in providing transportation to medical appointments
- Update the doctor with any changes in the senior’s condition
- Prepare the senior for the next appointment
- Work with hospitals from patient admission through discharge
- Save seniors and their family time and money by managing the care environment
- Assist seniors and family members in making difficult medical decisions
A Healthy Relationship
The care manager’s services build an effective relationship with the doctor and other medical professionals, as well as relieves stress for seniors and family members. The improved communications and coordination between doctor and patient equates to a reduction in frustration for both of them and more effective care for the senior.
Care managers can be hired for a one-time assessment or ongoing support. Whatever the level of need, they can make a positive difference in the life of a senior adult and the lives of their loved ones.
Interested in learning more about how a customized senior care plan can improve you or your loved one’s health and wellness? Contact us today to learn about our Care Management program or to schedule an assessment.