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How to Motivate Your Aging Loved One to Visit the Doctor

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How to Encourage a Parent to Visit the Doctor in Arkansas, AR

Seniors need to visit their primary doctors at least once a year because annual physicals are instrumental in diagnosing and preventing various health conditions. For some seniors, doctor’s appointments are anxiety-inducing. When it comes to scheduling their annual physical, older adults may avoid the topic or refuse to go altogether. If your senior parent is unwilling to go to the doctor, consider taking the following steps.

Address the Reasons for Avoiding the Doctor

When seniors refuse to go to the doctor, it’s usually indicative of an underlying issue. If you want to convince your parent to see a doctor, you first need to figure out why he or she is acting this way. Your loved one may feel anxious in the presence of physicians or be frightened of a potential diagnosis. Perhaps your parent feels uncomfortable around the current primary care doctor and is too embarrassed to say anything about it. The reasons could be purely practical. If your loved one doesn’t have reliable transportation, he or she may feel uncomfortable asking you for assistance. Once you’ve discovered the reason for the reluctance, you can help your loved one overcome it. 

Aging adults who need help around the house, transportation to medical appointments and social events, and assistance with exercise can benefit from having an in-home caregiver. With the help of Home Care Assistance Conway, seniors can enjoy greater independence and receive regular mental and social stimulation when relying on a trusted professional who is expertly trained in various aspects of senior care.

Offer Your Support

Make sure your parent knows you’re available to help. Whether your loved one needs a lift to the appointment or help with medication management, provide whatever assistance he or she requires. If your parent is reluctant to ask for help, an obvious offer of support may go a long way. 

Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Hot Springs respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities.

Be a Health Advocate

Trips to the doctor’s office can be stressful for seniors, even if they’re not prone to anxiety. If your parent has difficulty managing stressful situations, look for ways to make doctor appointments more bearable. When seniors are accompanied on their appointments by a health advocate, it takes the pressure off of them. They don’t have to worry about remembering their medication history or fully understanding treatment options. Try to be your parent’s health advocate, and tell him or her that you’ll schedule the appointments, prepare the healthcare documents, and take notes during appointments. Ask whether your loved one has any specific concerns, and make sure to discuss them with the doctor.

Try to Be Emotionally Supportive

Some seniors avoid visiting their doctors because they fear they’ll receive a life-changing diagnosis. If your loved one has started experiencing symptoms of cognitive decline, he or she may have decided avoidance is better than facing the truth. In situations such as this, give your parent the emotional support he or she needs. Some seniors respond best to handholding and sympathy, while others respond better to the idea of early treatment. Give your parent the kind of support needed to overcome his or her worst fears.

Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Little Rock elder care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (501) 764-1312 today.