With patient privacy laws, it’s hard to access your dad’s medical information without his approval. That’s the first step you need to take. Make sure that any medical notes get sent to you. His doctor may mail a report or give you the log-in information to sign in and look at your dad’s records. Once you have that, here are the things you need to keep track of.
What Over-the-Counter Supplements and Medications Does Your Dad Take?
Make sure you keep a list of any prescriptions your dad takes. At the same time, jot down any supplements he uses. If he takes a multivitamin, write it down and note the dosage. If he takes a daily aspirin, note that too. There are medications that conflict with over-the-counter pills. Have his doctor check the list for any problems.
Has Your Dad Gone for All Recommended Follow-up Appointments?
Your dad saw his doctor and was supposed to go for follow-up care. Did he really go? Keep track of his doctor visits and make sure that he does what his doctor recommends. If he had a colon cancer screening and polyps were found, he’s risking his health if he skips going to the appointment to have those polyps removed.
Is Your Dad Hiding Any Health Complaints?
Your dad fell while getting out of the car and said he tripped, but you’re not convinced. If your dad is hiding something like dizziness from you, he probably hides it from his doctor also. If your dad doesn’t bring up those concerns, make sure you do. Dizziness can be a side effect of his medications or an indication that his blood pressure or blood sugar levels are too high or low.
Does Your Dad Listen to His Doctor?
If your dad’s doctor tells him his cholesterol is high and that a low-fat diet is recommended, will he do as he’s told? If he doesn’t tell you, would you be able to find out and make sure he’s switching his diet? You may need to talk to his doctor after an appointment to see what was suggested.
Can You Answer Common ER Questions?
If your dad has a stroke or is in an accident and is unconscious, can you answer the questions ER doctors will ask? Before an MRI is ordered, it’s important to know if there are any metal parts within your dad’s body. If your dad is allergic to things like penicillin or seafood, doctors also need to know that.
Scheduling appointments is easy for you, but it’s not easy getting time off to take your dad to the doctor. Caregivers offer many supportive services that include transportation, medication reminders, and meal preparation. With caregivers providing your dad with companionship and help with many activities of daily living, you’ll have peace of mind that he’s living independently and safely. Call a senior care agency to discuss the cost of caregivers.