Tips: Visiting the Doctor
Crowds: going to the office when there are less people, then, there is less stimulation; so, ask the office staff what time of day the office is least crowded.
Notification: if this is a new physician then discuss with the office staff that your loved one has Dementia or a disability and ask what you and they can do in advance to make the wait time shorter and the visit go smoothly.
Surprise: telling your loved one about the appointment ahead of time can cause anxiety, therefore tell your loved one about the appointment the day of the visit, shortly before it is time to go, or even as you pull up. This will depend totally on the stage of the dementia as well personality traits. Ensure that your tone of voice is positive and matter-of-fact.
Occupied: although you have called ahead, scheduled at the right time, and know there is no crowds; still bring along something for your loved to snack on, drink, or an activity that they will enjoy. Depending on your loved one’s personality those options may not be suitable, so even try to have a friend or another family member go with you (remember you should have a support system).
Preparation: to make the appointment run smoothly take a brief summary listing your loved one's medical history, primary care doctor (if it is a new specialists), and current medications, last but not least, your list of questions or concerns. Also, many offices have new patient forms online, so you can print them off and complete them at home, when you are thinking clearly.
Treat: to ensure that appointments are not associated with feelings of negativity, burden, or any negative emotions associated with going to see doctors, make sure that you have lunch or brunch or do something positive, exciting, that your loved one will love either before or after the appointment.
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