Maybe it’s to an assisted-living facility near you. Maybe it’s to another location where she decided she’d like to age-in-place.
Such a move means that she’ll need to establish care with a new primary care doctor.
For most older adults, establishing a good working relationship with a new doctor is a challenge. If nothing else, it can take some time to feel that each party knows and understands the other.
But it’s also in many cases a terrific opportunity to review a person’s health and healthcare. Provided, of course, that everyone involved makes an effort, and has good information to work with.
In this post, I’ll share my list of the most useful health information that you should bring to that first visit with the new primary care doctor.
Do you have to bring this information? Of course not. In my own experience, most people bring nothing more than a medication list, if that. And they leave it to the new doctors to request health information from the previous doctors, which often arrives well after that first new patient visit.
But this is a problem, because it makes it quite difficult for that first visit to be truly useful.
Sure, the doctor can interview your loved one, and do a physical exam. Yet for many older adults, that interview and exam is often much more productive if a doctor can combine it with a review of the most useful health information.
I myself used to see a fair number of new older patients, when I was a primary care geriatrician at the Over 60 Health Center. Those first visits often felt like fumbling around in a dark room, feeling the walls and furniture and trying to get a sense of the overall layout.
But occasionally, a new patient would come with useful health information in hand. This generally made a big difference in how quickly we could ensure that our new patient was getting the right medical care from us, and from other involved doctors.
So if you want to help your older loved one have the best start possible with a new doctor, you’ll need to do a little advance preparation. This often requires some time and energy. But it will pay off, by ensuring that the new doctor has the information he or she needs, to provide your loved one with good healthcare.
10 Useful Types of Medical Information to Bring to a New Doctor
Here’s my list of what I ask patients and families to bring to me, in order to make that new patient visit most useful. [Read more…]