Managing Elderly Parents and Their Medical Needs/Appointments, pt 1

Caring for a senior, or elderly parents, can be rewarding but challenging. It can get crazy calling doctors, managing their medical needs, and scheduling appointments.

As a caregiver, whether you are a family member or a spouse, keeping track of everything from medications to doctor visits can be overwhelming. To help navigate these responsibilities, here are some tips designed to streamline and simplify the process.

— Organize Medical Information. Create a health journal. Write things down, just like a diary. Keep a detailed journal or digital record of your elderly parents and their medical history. You need to recall past and present illnesses, surgeries, allergies, and current medications. This information is crucial during doctor visits and in an emergency.

— Keep a list of medications. I always request our homecare clients to have a printed, up-to-date list of medications posted somewhere in the house. This needs to be kept current for any updates on all medications, including dosages, schedules, and any side effects they cause in seniors. This list should accompany them to every medical appointment.

— Schedule and Track Appointments. Use a calendar system. Whether it’s a digital calendar or a physical planner, use one central place to track all medical appointments, including follow-ups and tests. Set reminders a few days in advance.

— Be prepared. Before each visit, write down any questions or concerns. This ensures you cover all important points during the appointment. (There are no “bad” questions.)

— Understand Their Health Care Coverage. Review insurance policies. Familiarize yourself with your senior’s insurance coverage, including what is and isn’t covered, co-pay details and any pre-authorizations required for treatments or medications.

— Keep important documents handy. Store insurance cards, identification information, and emergency contacts in an easily accessible place.

JD Miller

About JD Miller

John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. Phone: (781) 378-2164 Email: [email protected] Website:

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