Why You Should Bring Your Care Manager to Your Next Doctor’s Visit

At age 85, Pam’s mother had several chronic health conditions that necessitated frequent visits to her doctors. She saw her cardiologist for congestive heart failure, an endocrinologist to manage her diabetes and osteoporosis, and her primary care physician for her high blood pressure. Usually, a neighbor drove her mom to her appointments, as Pam worked full-time.

When visiting her mother one weekend, Pam noticed that she seemed frailer and more confused than usual. She was unsteady on her feet even with her walker, and when Pam asked her how her last doctor’s appointment had gone, she motioned to a new prescription bottle on the counter.

“I told the doctor I had trouble sleeping so he gave me these,” she said. “But they make me a little woozy.” Pam picked up the bottle but didn’t recognize the name of the drug. She looked at the other prescription bottles stacked in a row. There were at least ten, maybe more, prescribed by three different doctors. Were they all aware of the medications her mother was already taking? Her health had been declining for some time now. Pam had no idea if it was due to her mother’s chronic illnesses or if her medications needed adjustment. Her mother didn’t share many details of her medical appointments and even when Pam did go with her, Pam wasn’t always sure what to ask.

It isn’t always easy for a family member to take an active role in managing a parent’s health care. It’s a role reversal that can be uncomfortable for both the parent and adult child. Or sometimes a family member lives at a distance or works, and simply can’t be present for doctor’s visits.  A geriatric care manager can be an invaluable resource for families and their loved ones in these situations. In the example above, a care manager’s presence at medical appointments can ensure that all doctors on the person’s medical team are aware of who’s doing what, and who’s prescribing what. The care manager can also point out possible medication interactions or side effects and inform the physician of the family’s concerns and keep the family in the loop.

The reality is, doctors are often busy, and errors and miscommunications happen. As an objective party, a care manager can ask the right questions, take notes on what doctors say, and make sure important issues are addressed.

At Jessica Care, we will accompany your loved one to their doctor’s visit to hear the needs, review the care, share the information, and make sure that the care is of the highest quality. Contact us today if we can help, at 941-444-8760 or email us at info@jessicacare.com. We are ready to help right now!