When your loved one ages in place, they will need to have a team of professionals who can help care for them. This means they need home care, doctors, family caregivers, and friends who love and support them. They may need extra professionals in their lives depending on what they are struggling with. This can mean they need therapy, dietitians, and other people who can help them age gracefully while living at home full-time during their final stages of life. But how do you pick the best professional, like a doctor? Here are some tips that may help you choose the right person for your elderly loved one.
Look Through Insurance
Your loved one may have switched insurance once they retired, and they may not have found a new doctor to help them through this final stage of life. If your senior mom or dad has not yet done this, they need to call their insurance and figure out who in their area is an in-network doctor accepting new patients. This means their insurance should cover most of their doctor visits. They just need to pay whatever the co-pay is, which may mean that care is much more affordable. If they haven’t done this, doctors can be stressful to go to because they can be expensive without insurance. Chances are your senior has medical conditions that can only be managed with the help of a doctor, and it should be a geriatrician or a doctor who specializes in senior care.
If their friends are on the same insurance or seeing a doctor they love, ask who it is! This is the best way to find a good doctor who will specialize in senior health. If you find a lot of people recommending one person, it’s time to take your senior loved one to check them out. If your loved one needs help getting somewhere to meet a new doctor, this is something a family caregiver can help with, or a professional home care provider can do, too.
Look at Location
Even with help from home care getting places, the closer a doctor is, the more convenient it will be to see them. When someone is too far away, it can be a hassle to get to, and it can seem like a chore. Keep in mind that some doctors can also do home visits, which will make checkups go a lot more smoothly, especially if your loved one can’t get around easily enough. Ask a doctor if they do home visits or if a senior will have to commute to the office every time. It can make a huge difference in care for a senior’s health.
Look Into Virtual Appointments
If a doctor does not do home visits, they may provide services like telehealth. Your loved one can log on to Zoom, Skype, or another video platform to talk to a doctor. Home care can help ensure a senior gets on the right video program and make it to their online appointments on time. This is a great option for checkups or just asking specific questions to a doctor to let them know what is going on. Always ask if a doctor provides virtual visits.