With all the changes that come with aging, it’s important for seniors’ health and well-being to get the correct diagnosis when concerns arise. Not only that, but they need support from their loved ones and home care assistance to understand the diagnosis, navigate the healthcare system and work toward stability and treatment. Consider the following tips to help seniors get the proper diagnosis and the help they need.
It Starts With Communication
Seniors with home care assistance should be encouraged to talk to their healthcare workers about their worries and symptoms when they first arise. More often than not, seniors keep their concerns to themselves. This can result in delayed treatment and more significant issues. When seniors have support, they feel empowered to stand up for themselves and voice their concerns. The home care team can help them write down their symptoms, including how often they happen, how long they last, and any trends they notice. This information can be shared with doctors during visits to help them with their diagnosis.
Loved ones can also attend medical visits with seniors or ask about home care assistance for the visits. This is especially important if seniors have hearing or cognitive issues. This may make understanding and relaying the information more difficult. In addition, the team can help seniors create a thorough record of their medical history, including past diagnoses, surgeries, allergies, medications, and their family’s medical history. This information can help doctors determine possible risk factors or underlying illnesses affecting the diagnosis. Other tips for loved ones and seniors to consider when searching for the correct diagnosis are listed below.
- Get a second opinion: If a senior’s diagnosis isn’t clear or the treatment plan doesn’t seem to work, it might be a good idea to get a second opinion. Another doctor or nurse may see things differently or have more knowledge that could help make a more accurate evaluation.
- Do some research: Take the initiative to learn more about the senior’s symptoms and possible diagnoses. This will help you understand the situation better and ask better questions when visiting the doctor. With home care assistance, seniors doing their own research can ensure they’re looking at reputable sites.
- Be proactive about follow-ups: It’s essential for seniors to attend follow-up visits and diagnostic tests that are suggested. The home care team can monitor their progress. They can make a note of any changes in symptoms or side effects of the medicines they are taking. Seniors with certain conditions may need special tests that go beyond regular screenings. Loved ones can work with the healthcare provider to look into choices. Things like geriatric assessments, cognitive evaluations, or functional assessments, which can give a more complete picture of health.
One of the best things loved ones can do to help seniors get a proper diagnosis is to ensure there is plenty of information to give to the physician. This includes notes from loved ones and seniors with home care assistance working as a team. Consider all the tips above and see which ones work best for your loved one’s situation.