Should I Take My Aging Parent to a Doctor Appointment?

In the midst of this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many people are wondering the appropriate course of action for preventative medical care. If your family member is in the high-risk category, is it a smart choice to take an aging parent to a doctor’s appointment?

Annual checkups and preventive care have taken a hit, with many Americans skipping their routine screenings and physicals. This choice to delay cancer screenings, wellness checks, and minor medical services could have serious consequences in the future.

Avoid Serious Medical Complications

Even “minor” ailments can turn into serious medical concerns when left untreated. The most important thing you can do is support your aging parent through a proactive approach for medical services.

Some of these checkups can be handled through technology, using telemedicine services. But there are times when an in-person visit is needed, like a dental checkup or procedures that are required.

If your loved one has been putting off these doctor appointments, then look for solutions. You can schedule the exams and maintain safety at the same time.

How to Visit the Doctor Safely

Here are a few tips to follow to ensure safety when taking an aging parent to a doctor’s appointment:

  • Talk to the Clinic: Before you take an aging parent to a doctor’s appointment, reach out to the clinic to learn about their practices for managing COVID-19. Ask about mask requirements, cleaning protocols, and social distancing practices. You can also learn about recommendations for telemedicine vs. in-person visits.
  • Check Symptoms: Not only should you monitor potential symptoms for yourself and your parent, but be prepared to answer health questions when you arrive for the appointment. If you have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, then it’s likely that a telemedicine appointment will be recommended first.
  • Follow Precautions: The health recommendations from the CDC apply in all situations, including the time you spend in a health clinic. Be proactive about wearing a face mask at all times, washing your hands regularly, avoid touching your face, and maintaining 6 feet distance whenever possible.

Support is Available: Take an Aging Parent to a Doctor Appointment

At Windward Life Care, we understand the challenges families are facing during this pandemic. Our team is committed to providing you and your loved ones with the support you need to stay healthy. Reach out to us to learn how our Aging Life Care Managers and home health RN Case Managers can help.