Senior Health Info Kit:
making the most of your doctor visits

The Senior Health Info Kit is more than just an organized place to keep all your medical information; it’s also a tool that can help you work with your parent’s doctors to achieve the best possible health. Providence Life Services communities understand the importance of working with healthcare professionals, seeing them as partners, not just providers.

Most of the “Health History” section of the Senior Health Info Kit is a fairly detailed health questionnaire. Take your time filling in the information completely, and it will be easier to revise it whenever there are updates to add (for example, another surgery or hospitalization).

The Health History section also includes a page titled “Making the Most of your Doctor Visits.” This is a worksheet that can help you (1) prepare for upcoming appointments, and (2) document any instructions the doctor gives. At the top of the page, you write the name of the doctor, the date of the appointment, and the reason for the appointment. Below that, you list the questions you want to remember to ask. There is space next to the questions where you can record the doctor’s answers.

If you are caring for a parent, you may want to print two copies of “Making the Most of your Doctor Visits.” Have Mom or Dad keep one near their medications, or wherever it can serve as a reminder to jot down the questions they want to ask. Then keep a copy for yourself, perhaps by the phone, so you can jot down your own questions.

Your parent’s questions might be things like:

  • Do I need to take this pill with food?
  • If I forget to take a dose, what should I do?
  • I still feel tired following my surgery — is that normal?
  • Are there changes I can make to my diet so that I don’t need to take a blood pressure pill?

Your questions might be things like:

  • Mom seems more forgetful lately — could that be a side effect of one of her medications?
  • Is it safe for her to be living alone if she’s this forgetful?
  • Dad’s other doctor also prescribed X. Is there any danger of those medications interacting with each other?

The worksheet also provides space to write in any follow-up instructions the doctor gives. You’ll want to make sure these instructions are copied onto your sheet as well as your parent’s, so you both can refer to them for clarification after the appointment.

You should complete a page like this for each doctor appointment, and the completed pages should be filed in your Senior Health Info Kit. They can become a chronological addition to your Health History.

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Providence Life Services is providing the Senior Health Info Kit as a courtesy to people who may find it helpful. Our suggestions for using the Kit do not constitute legal, medical, or financial advice.

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One Response to Senior Health Info Kit:
making the most of your doctor visits

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