Helping your aging parent manage their chronic disease(s) can be challenging. Use these three simple steps to make it easier on yourself and get the information you need about their health.
- Begin by reviewing the most recent report from their doctor’s visit. Focus on the following categories to understand their general health status.
- Current complaints or concerns they shared with the doctor. This section pinpoints areas where your loved one is struggling and where they might need help.
- List of diagnoses. Do they have any medical conditions you weren’t aware of?
- List of medications. Note which medications are prescribed for which health condition.
- Recommendations from the physician after the exam.
- Inform yourself about the disease(s) your loved one is living with. You’ll gain great insights about the comments or complaints they make to you.
An excellent resource is https://medlineplus.gov for your research. This site is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. National Library of Medicine. You’ll find great basic information on a wide variety of topics and health conditions.
- Round up ALL their medications and make a list.
You might be surprised at how many different medications your parent is taking. This includes all of their prescriptions and also all OTC [over the counter] pills they use regularly. This includes any nutritional supplements or vitamins they use.
Do a full house search – kitchen cupboards, dining room table, bedside stand, bathroom medicine cabinet, and beside their favorite living room chair.
Once you know the basics, you’re better prepared to help them manage their health conditions. We’ll discuss next steps in future blogs, stay tuned…
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