Many aging adults don’t want to go to the doctor. Maybe they’ve had bad experiences with doctors or they’re afraid of what they might hear, but if your senior won’t go, you need a structured approach to the problem.
Talk about it Before it’s an Emergency
If you’re waiting until your senior’s health conditions are way out of control, that’s not the best timing. You need to talk about this issue well before it’s truly an emergency. By the time things really are out of control, you may have to make some decisions as her caregiver that your aging family member isn’t able to make for herself. You want her to still have some say in what happens whenever possible.
Don’t Corner Your Senior
You probably have some really strong feelings about getting your senior into her doctor’s office, but if you’re trying to pressure her too much, she’s going to resist even more. You can certainly talk with her about what the consequences are likely to be if she continues to avoid her doctor, but you really need to avoid trying to scare her.
Share Your Concerns Lovingly
Just telling your senior you want her to go to her doctor may not be enough. Give her your reasons in a loving and concise manner. You want to convey to her that you’re voicing these concerns because you care about her well-being and you want her to be as healthy as possible. But remember that your concerns aren’t the only ones that matter.
Listen to What She Says
It’s really important that you listen to what your elderly family member is telling you. Glossing over her concerns or fears is not a great way to convince her that you care about what she has to say. Ask questions if you need to clarify what she’s saying or dig deeper into her concerns.
Find Solutions to Problems
As you’re listening to your senior’s issues with this topic, help her to find solutions. If transportation is a big issue for her, then hiring home care providers to do the driving could be the right answer. If your senior doesn’t feel that she needs to see her doctor, figure out when she last saw her doctor and ask if a checkup is possible for her. Compromising might be the best answer.
In the end, you may need to regroup and let your senior make this decision on her own. As long as she’s in good mental health, forcing her to go to the doctor could be traumatic for her. Don’t ignore the issue, but you don’t want to alienate your senior, either.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering a Home Care Service in Garden City, NY, please contact the caring staff at Family First Home Companions. Serving all of Long Island. Call today: (631) 319-3961
Jennifer has specialized training in Alzheimer’s disease through the Long Island Alzheimer’s Association and the Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation.She also volunteered her time with the Alzheimer's Disease Assistance Center of Long Island for 3 years by providing cognitive stimulation to an Alzheimer’s patient group.
Jennifer educates the community about elder care and speaks to caregiver support groups, senior centers, and at professional organizations.Topics include home safety, effective strategies for family caregiving, elder care planning, and awareness about elder abuse.
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