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Overcoming Senior Resistance to Medical Appointments

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Taking care of an elderly loved one often presents with many challenges. One roadblock that may be encountered by caregivers is a senior loved one’s resistance to keeping his or her medical appointments. Fortunately, employing a few different strategies may help convince older adults that it is important to attend their regular physician visits.

  • Investigate the Resistance – Seniors who are refusing to go to the doctor may be noncompliant because of a simple, underlying reason. If they fear a medical procedure, allaying their anxiety by explaining the reason for the visit may be enough to get them to keep the appointment. If they are reminded that the purpose of the check-up is to monitor certain health conditions such as diabetes, they may also be more apt to comply.
  • Integrate Other Activities – Without seeming patronizing, caregivers can incorporate another more enjoyable activity before or after the appointment in order to make the trip more interesting. Enjoying a lunch out at your loved one’s favorite restaurant or making a visit to a shopping mall may make the outing more tolerable for him or her.
  • Change the Routine – Recruiting another family member or a friend to take your elderly loved one to the appointment may be enough of a diversion to deter him or her from refusing to see the doctor. Some families may even want to consider hourly care in Douglas County. With hourly care, a trained and professional caregiver can attend appointments with your loved one, providing encouragement and support to calm any feelings of anxiety. The caregiver can also offer companionship and transportation for other errands or activities.
  • Coordinate Care – If an older adult sees multiple practitioners, a good strategy to employ is to have all of their appointments scheduled for the same day; so long as being out for an extended period is not too taxing for him or her.

If you have an aging parent or loved one who refuses to attend his or her medical appointments, put yourself in their shoes. Try to better understand their fears or why they may not attend, and make going to the doctors an important part of maintaining health and happiness, as opposed to a dreaded appointment.

For more information about caring for a senior parent or loved one, or to get help with caregiving responsibilities, schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation. Home Care Assistance is a trusted local senior care provider, offering home care Douglas County families trust. Call 720-441-3522 and speak with a friendly and experienced Care Manager.