In an ideal world, medical care would revolve around you and your own preferences, following your specific needs and wishes – fitting into your itinerary and routine, unhindered by issues such as an unwavering health care provider who sees health care options in black and white. Reality is far from perfect though, and the majority of us often tend to submit to doctors’ orders with no concept that there may be a better-suited alternative, especially when it comes to senior healthcare.
With some education, however, patients can, believe it or not, take a more proactive stance for their healthcare. Known as “person-centered care,” it involves physicians working together with patients and any other members of the family or care providers they determine, taking into consideration the patient’s preferences, values and goals, and using that information as a guide throughout all facets of care.
There are many handy steps we can all take to reach a more individualized level of care:
- Think through your healthcare goals, and write this information down to discuss with your medical doctors. And, ask that medical personnel integrate these goals into your health records.
- Become well-informed in your medical conditions and needs, and ways in which they’re having an effect on your everyday life. For instance, are you suffering from challenges with any sort of routine activities of daily living, like taking showers or dressing? Are you struggling with certain types of movements, like lifting or bending? A good assessment tool is available here.
- Be sure that discussions with medical professionals are two-sided. Fully engage in a dialogue to make sure your concerns are addressed and that you are aware of any potential complications or any other risks of treatment recommendations.
- If you have multiple physicians (for example, a primary care doctor and one or more specialists in a variety of practices), confirm that communication is happening among all. This could include requesting that documentation be shared between providers, and then following up to ensure that’s been carried out.
- Involve a trusted member of the family, friend, or professional in-home caregiver, such as Home Matters provides, in all healthcare appointments. Having someone around to jot down notes, answers to questions, and any other relevant information helps make sure that nothing falls through the cracks.
To get more tips, and for a partner in care to help ensure older adults and their loved ones have a voice in their healthcare needs, contact Home Matters. We can provide accompanied transportation to treatments and appointments, pick up prescription medications and run other errands, prepare healthy meals, and so much more for your senior loved ones.