The relationship one has with their doctor is an important and, sometimes, life-long one. However, as your needs change with age, you may discover that the care of a family physician — no matter how good that doctor may be — is no longer meeting your needs medically.
A geriatrician is a doctor who specializes in caring for the elderly. These doctors are trained to deal with medical issues that primarily afflict people in their mid-sixties and beyond. As we age, we have to reevaluate our health care choices and it’s best to be armed for problems that may arise, like high blood pressure, heart disease, and even cognitive problems.
Take a few minutes to peruse this list that we’ve compiled of things to consider when you’re choosing an elderly doctor specialist:
Find a Doctor Who Listens to You
It is important for you to have a doctor you can go to and say, “Hey, I’m having some new issues and I’d like to talk to you about them,” and have them listen! You need a doctor who is a communicator. Choose someone who takes the time to talk to you, ask you questions, and let you ask them questions. The best way to start your search for a new doctor is to talk to friends and family to find out which doctors they use and how their practices operate. For instance, if you fall down at home on the weekend, you’re going to want someone to be able to reach your doctor to make him aware of the situation. Make sure you choose a physician who is there for their patients.
Everyone has a preference as to whether they’d like a male or female caregiver. Choose the gender you feel most comfortable within a health care relationship. Make sure you can relax and share your concerns and discuss them with that person without feeling embarrassed or ashamed. Your new doctor should review the medications you’ve been prescribed and try to sort of streamline them through the elimination of drugs you no longer need, drugs that should be replaced, and other criteria.
Age Appropriate Health Care & Quality of Life is Important
As people age, certain things like the levels of vitamins and hormones found in the bloodstream change. Those changes need to be monitored through age appropriate testing to ensure your health and well-being. Determine which doctors are up to date on their testing practices. When caring for seniors, there are often steps for care that take place outside of the office. Older people who live alone might appreciate a house call from a doctor. When a physician has an elderly patient, they should make sure their patient has a clean, safe living environment. You want a doctor who cares about your quality of life. They should investigate any signs of:
Respecting Your Privacy & Maintaining Your Dignity
As you choose a new doctor, find out what his policies and practices are for dealing with family members. You may like to have your spouse or son or daughter in the examining room with you, or you may like to keep your dealings with your doctor private, or on a need-to-know basis. Make sure the doctor you decide on is on the same page as you when it comes to family. Geriatricians are trained to communicate with people who may be suffering from things like dementia and memory loss. Your doctor should look you in the eyes while speaking to you and make you feel like he cares about what you have to say, whether there is anyone in the room or not. It’s important that you maintain your dignity as you age.
Now that you’ve been given some things to consider, call some friends and family members to talk about their own experiences with their doctors. You can remain independent and rely on others at the same time. Your health depends on it!