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We all face daily challenges in today's complicated and demanding world. ACA’s Counseling Corner Blog offers thoughtful ideas, suggestions, and strategies for helping you to live a happier and healthier life.

Columns can be reprinted in full or in part with attribution to the American Counseling Association’s Counseling Corner Blog.

 


Nov 1, 2018

Getting The Most From That Visit To The Doctor

This time of year tends to bring on more illnesses.  So it's especially important to pay attention if you have an elderly parent or other relative or friend who may need help facing the flu or other illnesses. 

Influenza, for example, is a much more serious health issue than many of us realize. It's estimated that 80,000 Americans died of influenza last flu season, over 700,000 were hospitalized, and that the vast majority were elderly.  

Of course, as we get older, it's not just the flu but a variety of health issues that can prompt a doctor visit, a visit that can often be stressful, anxiety-producing and confusing for someone older. You may even be aware that you, regardless of your age, face the same problems when visiting your doctor.

A doctor visit should be helpful and productive, and there are things you can do, for yourself or an elderly relative, to help minimize stress and maximize the help the doctor has to offer.
One starting point is being what a professional counselor would call "appropriately assertive." Rather than being intimidated by that white coat and stethoscope, you want to be able to speak up clearly and directly about the reasons for your visit. Establish a climate of mutual respect that acknowledges the doctor's busy schedule but also your need to get information.

It usually helps, prior to that office visit, to write out any questions that you'd like answered. That's especially true if you're going with someone older who may be nervous or forgetful about bringing up all the issues that need addressing.

Write down the doctor's answers and instructions, and don't be afraid to politely ask to have things restated if you haven't fully understood what was said.

Your goal is to get all the information you need and that's especially important if the patient is someone elderly who may forget or be confused about what doctor's diagnosis and advice. To make sure you've understood it yourself, take a moment to repeat what was said, and give the doctor the chance to correct or add to what you've heard.

Open communication between doctor and patient makes it easier for both to work as partners. Whether the visit is for yourself, or to help a senior close to you, building effective communication will result in less stress and confusion, and better care for the patient.

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    Getting The Most From That Visit To The Doctor

    Nov 1, 2018, 14:40 PM by User Not Found
    Visits to the doctor's office are something most of us would like to avoid, mainly by staying healthy. But sometimes it's simply necessary to see your family physician and when you do it's important to get as much as possible out of the visit. Many people find doctor visits stressful, and the medical terms they encounter intimidating. What follows are some suggestions to make encounters with the medical profession more productive and beneficial.

    This time of year tends to bring on more illnesses.  So it's especially important to pay attention if you have an elderly parent or other relative or friend who may need help facing the flu or other illnesses. 

    Influenza, for example, is a much more serious health issue than many of us realize. It's estimated that 80,000 Americans died of influenza last flu season, over 700,000 were hospitalized, and that the vast majority were elderly.  

    Of course, as we get older, it's not just the flu but a variety of health issues that can prompt a doctor visit, a visit that can often be stressful, anxiety-producing and confusing for someone older. You may even be aware that you, regardless of your age, face the same problems when visiting your doctor.

    A doctor visit should be helpful and productive, and there are things you can do, for yourself or an elderly relative, to help minimize stress and maximize the help the doctor has to offer.
    One starting point is being what a professional counselor would call "appropriately assertive." Rather than being intimidated by that white coat and stethoscope, you want to be able to speak up clearly and directly about the reasons for your visit. Establish a climate of mutual respect that acknowledges the doctor's busy schedule but also your need to get information.

    It usually helps, prior to that office visit, to write out any questions that you'd like answered. That's especially true if you're going with someone older who may be nervous or forgetful about bringing up all the issues that need addressing.

    Write down the doctor's answers and instructions, and don't be afraid to politely ask to have things restated if you haven't fully understood what was said.

    Your goal is to get all the information you need and that's especially important if the patient is someone elderly who may forget or be confused about what doctor's diagnosis and advice. To make sure you've understood it yourself, take a moment to repeat what was said, and give the doctor the chance to correct or add to what you've heard.

    Open communication between doctor and patient makes it easier for both to work as partners. Whether the visit is for yourself, or to help a senior close to you, building effective communication will result in less stress and confusion, and better care for the patient.

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