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From the Neighborhood Press

Maximizing Your Doctor’s Appointment: Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Visit

Visiting a doctor or specialist while in retirement can often be an intimidating experience. Even minor complaints like an ache in your knee can cause anxiety, especially if one is an active adult in senior living. It’s common to wonder if healthcare professionals will take your concerns into consideration or use medical terminology that’s hard to understand. These fears are not unique and are shared by many individuals, including seniors. Fortunately, there are ways to ease the stress of a doctor’s appointment.

Before the Appointment

Before visiting your doctor in Rio Rancho or Albuquerque, preparing beforehand can be beneficial. Taking a moment to write down questions or types of symptoms will help you focus and remember important details. You don’t have to worry about sounding knowledgeable by using complex medical terms; it’s more important to use descriptive language that explains your concerns accurately. Medical professionals often use everyday language when seeking treatment for themselves. Focusing on one issue at a time and being thorough is crucial. Quickly passing over multiple problems at once can make it difficult for the doctor to address your issues appropriately. Writing notes beforehand can help you stay on topic and make the most of your appointment. Remember, if you feel anxious about visiting a doctor or specialist, you are not alone. Equipping yourself with knowledge on how to handle these situations can help you feel heard and informed when leaving the doctor’s office.

Take a Patient Advocate

It can be challenging for anyone to recall the information discussed during a doctor’s appointment, regardless of age. As a senior, to mitigate this issue, consider having a family member or friend from the community join you during the visit. They can take notes and help you stay organized. Be sure to discuss with them beforehand how you would like them to participate in your medical care.

Ask Questions

Medical terminology can be difficult to understand, and doctors may forget that their patients may not be familiar with certain concepts. If you are having trouble understanding something, do not hesitate to ask for clarification. Ask your doctor to explain things in a way that you can comprehend best, whether that be through visual aids or additional reading materials.

Seeking Another Opinion

If you are not satisfied with your prognosis or diagnosis, consider scheduling a second opinion. A different perspective may provide further treatment options or others ideas to help your situation. Remember, as an active senior in independent living it is essential to prioritize your health and not let feelings of helplessness hold you back from seeking assistance.

The Power of Positivity

Approach your doctor’s appointment with a positive mindset and a sense of preparedness. Bring your notes and a supportive senior friend or family member. After the appointment, debrief with your companion over coffee or some food to discuss the outcome. Planning this ahead of time can give you something to look forward to and provide a respite to prevent you from feeling alone as you process the information.

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