Finding Support – Communicating with Healthcare Professionals

How to get the most out of your relationship with your loved one’s healthcare team.

Wayne, Caregiver for Mother, 9 Years, California:
Make sure you’re extremely comfortable with your physician, that you have a very open dialogue with him, and if you don’t, get another doctor, there’s a lot of elder care doctors that are specializing in Alzheimer’s and you can’t get locked into somebody that you’re not completely comfortable with.

Studies have consistently shown that active medical management of Alzheimer’s disease (e.g. coordination of care) can significantly benefit patients and their caregivers through all stages of the disease.

Alice, Caregiver for Sister, 1 Year, Pennsylvania:
In terms of talking with the healthcare professionals all the time, keeping that open relationship with them helps me out a lot with my sister.

Judith, Caregiver for Mother, 4 Years, Texas:
You have to ask all those questions. You have to be smart enough to know what questions to ask, not to let them put you in a five-minute window and then go on to the next person.

Before you go to a doctor’s appointment, write down your questions and the thoughts you want to share.

Daily records of your loved one’s ability to function independently, both mentally and physically, can be helpful at these meetings.

Laura, Caregiver for Mother, 8 Years, California:
… I’m to the point with various situations in my immediate family with health issues, that if I don’t get that connection with the doctor I don’t have a problem interviewing another doctor or going to somebody else. I want somebody who is passionate about fixing this…

Joey, Caregiver for Husband, 12 Years, California:
 I think one of the most important things when we have any encounters with our physicians is not to be afraid to ask questions, even if the doctor has heard them, 50 times from the last 50 patients or caregivers that he saw, I think that it’s still very important that you not be afraid to ask anything no matter how silly it might seem to you in retrospect or no matter what answer he gives. I think communication is of the upmost importance in the caregiving process.

Familiarize yourself and your loved one with the doctor’s staff and office, so you both feel safe there.

Content sponsored by Forest Laboratories, Inc.