April 18, 2024



Finding a Good Doctor For Your Aging Loved One

Finding a good doctorstipsonline for an elderly loved one can be a challenge. Many rural areas and smaller towns do not have gerontologists available. This means that a family will need to look at the non-specialists available in their area to provide medical care for their loved one.

Look for a family practitioner or general practice physician to be the primary care physician for your loved one. General and family practitioners are trained to treat all aspects of a person’s health and well-being even though they have not specialized in a specific field. They treat the elderly as well as newborns, children and adults for everything from a splinter to a more serious illness.

Some things to consider are:

1. Health Insurance Coverage

Choosing a doctor can be based upon several factors. One of the first aspects to look at is whether or not the patient’s health coverage is accepted by the physician being considered. Most physicians will accept Medicare but it’s important to determine whether or not they will accept Medicaid and/or the supplemental policy if one is available. If the doctor will accept the health coverage, the next thing to look at is accessibility.

2. Location and Accessibility

It is important to choose a doctor whose office is located close enough to be easily accessed for routine care and emergencies. If the elderly loved one is homebound, a physician who understands this and is willing to work around this detail to provide care is ideal.

Physicians can order home health nurses to draw blood, administer injections, take vitals signs and other basic medical procedures then report to the doctor. These procedures would normally be done at the doctor’s office, but when dealing with a homebound patient, getting them into the office may be a problem.

In addition, when transporting an elderly homebound loved one, distance to the doctor’s office can play a part in the convenience of the location. Determine if the time spent driving and the distance to and from a doctor’s office makes the doctor in question an acceptable choice for your loved one’s needs. If the doctor requires that your loved one must been seen at the office frequently, then distance can be an important factor when choosing the physician.

3. Office Hours

When choosing a doctor there are a few important questions about the doctor’s schedule that you should ask. What kind of office hours does the doctor hold? Do they have evening or weekend hours? How can you get in touch with them when the office is closed? Are the physicians who cover the “on-call” hours acceptable to you?

4. Hospital Choices

Most doctors have privileges at specific hospitals. When choosing a doctor, it is important to find out which hospital or hospitals the doctor has privileges at. This is the same hospital the patient would go to for emergency care, tests and surgeries in most cases. The size, location and reputation of the hospital may play a large role in your decision to choose or not choose a specific doctor. Some towns and cities have specialty hospitals for certain conditions. If your loved one has a condition that is treated by one of these specialty hospitals, it is important to determine if the primary physician has privileges there.