There is frequently nothing “routine” about a routine medical checkup. You may arrive to your appointment perfectly fine, but leave with orders for blood work along with other medical tests a doctor recommends to help keep you as healthy as possible. These tests might be nothing more than a small inconvenience for you, but for older adults, they could be challenging, for many reasons: transportation problems, mobility issues, thinner skin, fragile veins, cognitive difficulties, and much more.
There are steps you can take to help advocate for a senior loved one to manage medical tests more easily. For example:
- Providing a stool or urine sample can be challenging. Ask the doctor for any recommendations to make the process less difficult, for example, a receptacle to place over the toilet rather than using a cup. Ensure the bathroom floor is clean and dry and that any bathmats or throw rugs are removed, and encourage the person to hold onto a grab bar during the collection process to prevent a fall.
- Find out if tests can be carried out in the individual’s home. Home health care is becoming an increasingly viable choice for blood work along with other tests.
- If the senior needs to have a test done outside the home, call ahead to the facility where it will be performed. Find answers to any specific questions you may have about parking, drop-off location, the best time of day to arrange for the test, etc.
How Can Home Care Services Advocate for a Senior Who Needs Medical Tests?
- Take notes to make sure doctors’ orders are understood and followed
- Pick up prescriptions and provide medication reminders so that meds are taken exactly as prescribed
- Provide accompaniment and transportation to medical appointments, procedures, and tests, while assisting with mobility support as needed
- Help the senior get settled safely back at home afterwards, and provide companionship and oversight to watch for any changes in condition that need to be reported
- And so much more
Also, many individuals feel much more comfortable receiving assistance for sensitive medical matters from a skilled professional. Our caregivers are experienced in discreet and respectful support with personal care needs, allowing family members to step back and offer the person privacy.