Preparation is the Key to Success at the Doctor’s Office


Senior HealthA strong foundational belief at Always Best Care Seniors Services is that the right care at the right time is crucial. Those of us who have given or received care have experienced that good care typically consists of good health habits.

Maintaining Senior Health

One of the many habits to maintain good health is a visit to your primary care doctor or internist at least once a year. The aging process, medication regulation and symptom management of chronic conditions may result in an increased number of visits. The number of visits to the doctor, though, isn’t as important as the information that is exchanged at each visit. According to Angela Graczyk, a registered nurse with 16 years of professional experience, the activities that occur before the visit can play a major role in a healthy outcome for a client after the visit. Graczyk states, “One of the key elements to a successful visit at the doctor’s office is preparation.” Preparation will not only help with the current visit, but could simplify daily care routines and possibly offer a higher quality of senior health and to everyday life. Also, a well prepared initial visit may lead to fewer yet more effective follow-up visits.

Follow These Steps to Improve Senior Health

The following tips could help increase care compliance to a physician-designed health plan and hopefully the quality of life for an individual …

  1. Arrive 15 minutes early – this will allow time to fill out or update paper work and possibly use the bathroom.
  2. Have a list of symptoms or concerns prepared – be sure to include the activity you are doing when the symptom occurred, the severity of the symptom, how often it happens, and if it is getting progressively worse or better over time.
  3. Have a current list of medications / supplements – some over-the-counter medications interfere or duplicate the actions of medications prescribed by a physician. Providing this list could identify potentially dangerous interactions or side effects.
  4. Notify your MD of recent visits to other doctors – this allows your primary physician to coordinate your total care and treatments and maintain a total picture of your health. Also, instruct specialty physician to send copies of labs or assessments to your primary care physician each time you are treated.
  5. Bring a monitoring log – the habit of writing down blood sugars, blood pressures, and other vital information for your health management as requested by your physician can help with treatment and medication decisions made for you by your doctor.
  6. Bring a notebook or ask for written recommendations or instructions for your care. Ask questions if you don’t understand the terminology the medical staff is using so that you can follow the instructions properly.
  7. Bring a family member, friend, or professional caregiver for support – if collecting or documenting information is overwhelming or challenging for you, it is a good idea to bring an additional person to take over this role consistently. If a family member or friend is not available, senior service companies like Always Best Care can provide a companion or support person to accompany you to your doctor to support a more prepared, healthy and successful outcome.

If you or someone you know is interested in getting a companion to assist with doctor visits mentioned in this article, please contact Chris Sternenberg at Always Best Care of the Midlands at (803) 414 7771, or send him an email at [email protected]. Get more information at http://www.SeniorCareColumbia.com. We look forward to serving you… always.