One of the most important relationships that we have in our lives is often overlooked. Especially for those dealing with a cancer diagnosis or chronic illness, your relationship with doctor can impact your quality of life and engagement in your own health and well-being. While dialogue may be the foundation of any good relationship, talking with you doctor isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Limited time, medical jargon, and a lacking bedside manner can be common barriers to good communication with your MD, but how well you talk with your doctor, impacts your health way more than those few awkwardly candid moments in their office.
Talking with Your Doctor: A Guide for Older People
The National Institute on Aging has a wonderful digital guide to help aging adults take charge of their health by managing their relationship with their doctor well. It has tips for choosing a doctor, making decisions, discussing sensitive subjects, and getting your information and resources in order. CLICK on the guide to access this free resource.
Care Managers Improving the Doctor- Patient Relationship
Regardless of your age, a sudden diagnosis can mean consuming more healthcare services than you ever have before. More doctor appointments, more tests, more medications and treatments. It can feel like a part-time job just managing it all. As a healthcare advocate, Care Managers accompany vulnerable and aging adults as they face the challenges of aging and chronic illnesses. One of the ways that they help families navigate the healthcare maze is by improving the doctor-patient relationship. With one foot in the medical world, and one foot in the client’s life they are able to act as a bridge and bring about positive outcomes. Some of the ways Care s help is by:
- Asking important questions during doctor appointments
- Advocating and increasing response times to client questions
- Explaining options in care to individuals and family
- Helping manage client compliance outside the walls of the doctor office
- Managing changing medications and treatments for consistency and accuracy
- Acting as an accessible and experienced resource to answer your healthcare questions
- Coordinating medical and long-term care
- Acting as a liaison between many doctors and specialists to make sure they are all on the same page and aware of the big picture of care
- Following up with results and going over next steps with you
- Translating medical jargon and taking time to explain and make sure you understand the diagnosis and treatment options
- Giving guidance and consulting with family to help you make difficult decisions with your doctor
- Assisting clients in being candid and forthcoming about symptoms and concerns
- Helping you find doctors and healthcare professionals that are a good fit for your care team.
A Two-Way Relationship
Many times we can think of ourselves as having a one-way relationship with our doctors. We sit in the chair and they impart information to us. A good doctor-patient relationship is two-way. Doctors can only make good diagnoses with good information from patients. If you or your family is dealing with a chronic illness or just the impacts of aging, a Care Manager can be a crucial advocate to lead your care team. For more information visit: http://www.soundoptions.com/geriatric-care-management or give us a call 800.628.7649.
Published on February 6, 2015.