Sometimes it can be hard to convince elderly relatives to go to the doctor, especially if they do not think there is any cause for concern or they have a fear of the doctor for any reason. Family members who are concerned for their elderly relative should know when to be persistent and when to let the issue go. We at Carefect Home Care Services understand the difficulties that family members face when trying to convince elderly relatives to go to the doctor and would like to offer some tips on how to help make the process easier.
The first thing family members should do is carefully consider the symptoms and be reasonable when dealing with their elderly relative. Take the time to listen to your relative’s symptoms and research them online before trying to force them to visit a doctor for something that might not even be a health issue. Be sure to keep any pre-existing conditions or allergies in mind when doing your research so that you can be sure that is not what is causing the symptoms. Forcing your loved one to go to the doctor over something that turns out to be nothing can make them less likely to trust your judgment in the future if something serious comes up. After you have researched their symptoms online, decide which condition or conditions they most likely have and take them to the right type of doctor. This is an important step because sometimes family members get scared for their elderly relatives and jump to the worst conclusion instead of being realistic about their condition. If you cannot find any definite results online but you are still worried, you can try taking your elderly relative to their regular doctor. If you know ahead of time that they will need to see a specialty doctor, try to make an appointment with that doctor so that you will not have to fight with your relative to get them to go see multiple doctors.
Identify Reasons for Refusal
The next thing that family members can do is try to find out why their elderly relative is so reluctant to go to the doctor. There are a variety of reasons why people do not want to go to the doctor; however, family members can help their elderly relatives work around these issues. One example is a senior who had a bad experience at the doctor as a child. Family members can reassure their senior loved ones by reminding them that they are not going to the same doctor that they had a bad experience with and that medicine has come a long way since their childhood so treatment will not be the same. If your relative is worried about having to undress in front of the doctor, you can try to find a doctor of the same gender for them. Undressing in front of the doctor is often less upsetting and embarrassing for patients if the doctor is the same gender. Another common reason people do not want to go to the doctor is that they are worried the doctor will tell them that they have a serious illness. Family members can reassure their elderly relatives by reminding them that it might just be a simple illness that is easily treated, and even if it is more serious, it is still possible that there is a cure or treatment for it.
If you are still having trouble convincing your elderly relative to go to the doctor, make sure that they know that you are only trying to convince them to go because you care about them and do not want to see them get sick. If that still does not work, it is important to know when to back off. Unless your relative is dealing with a mental illness that impairs their judgment, you cannot force them to go to the doctor against their will. Making your elderly relative mad can have negative effects for both of you if they do not want you around anymore and something does happen to them in the future. Family members who are still concerned about their relative can monitor them and take them to the doctor if their condition worsens or they suddenly fall very ill. Unless you feel that their condition is getting worse or not improving over time, continue to monitor their health without forcing the issue of going to the doctor. Those who are still concerned but cannot be there all the time can always hire private homecare services to come in and care for their elderly relative if they are afraid to go to the doctor’s office. Following these tips will help keep your elderly relative healthy while easing your mind about their well-being.
For other relevant articles in our Home Care blog:
- Caring For Complaining or Bossy Family Member
- Strategies and Ways to Help a Parent that Refuses Homecare
- Caregiving and Sibling Relationships (3 Parts)