Doctors’ Appointments Can be Daunting for Seniors

doctors office

For many people, getting to a doctor’s appointment can sometimes be a minor annoyance, but it’s likely not an overwhelmingly difficult task. You get up, grab your bag, drive to the appointment, spend too much time in the waiting room, speak with the doctor, get checked out, and go home. Not the most fun way to spend an afternoon sometimes, but no big deal, right? For many seniors, though, a trip to the doctor is much different. Here’s why.

Getting Ready

While it may be easy for some to run through a morning routine, let’s consider why it’s more of a struggle for elders. First, they have to get out of bed and get moving. They may need help and have to wait for their caregiver. Joints are stiff, and they move more slowly than we do. With or without a caregiver’s assistance, activities of daily living take longer when you move slower in general. Showering may require assistance. Getting dressed may require someone setting out everything they need. If they use a wheelchair or walker to get around, they may face challenges caused by the very assistive devices that are supposed to help.

Next come breakfast and medication management, which, when you aren’t as spry as you once were, can take a significant amount of time. When preparing for an appointment, seniors need to remember what they ate in the morning and what medications they took. They need to remember to take with them any relevant paperwork, insurance information and medication dosages, as well. Some seniors get flustered because simply preparing for an appointment can be too much.

Getting to the Appointment

Arranging and using transportation to get to a medical appointment can also be stressful. Riding in wheelchair vans or taxis is a new experience for many and requires them to put their trust in someone they’ve never met. This can really put seniors out of their comfort zones. To make matters more difficult, many seniors need assistance getting from the vehicle into the office building as well, and navigating an unfamiliar place can be intimidating.

At the Appointment

Once they arrive at the appointment, there’s sign-in to handle, paperwork to fill out and questions to answer. Having someone there to help them juggle all the information, questions and moving from desk to desk can provide a great relief.

Once seniors get into the examination room, they could require assistance getting dressed and undressed. And at what pace do medical providers usually rattle information off? In their need to see all patients, doctors and nurses do this pretty quickly. If you have trouble hearing or you process things more slowly, consider how overwhelming this can be. Needing to recall answers to questions and cling to information given is tough for many seniors. By the time they leave the office, many of these seniors are stressed out and exhausted.

Looking at a medical appointment through seniors’ eyes makes it easier to see why it can be too much for them to handle alone. Hiring a companion to walk through each step of the process with them can make a world of difference. A companion provides someone by their side to help with paperwork, assist them to and from the car and give them the peace of mind to relax and know they will have everything they need.

If you need a companion to accompany your loved one to a medical appointment, trust the experts at Errand Works. Our caring employees can provide compassionate assistance at an affordable rate.