Finding the Best Doctor for Your Mom’s Changing Health Needs
As your mom gets older, her medical needs may change. At one point, her visits to the doctor would have been geared toward OB/GYN care and yearly medical exams. Now, she needs to have her bone density checked. She might need memory care visits or help with proper nutrition as she ages. She could be moving to be closer to you and needs a doctor nearby.
If your mom has outgrown her doctor or needs one in a new location, she’s not alone. Moving her to another doctor who specializes in elder care is a big change, but it can be a beneficial change. If you need to make a change, here are some ways to make the transition go smoothly.
Look online for reviews. You can get a feel for a doctor’s personality and skill. Remember that people may emphasize the bad. See if there are follow-up reviews to get a full picture.
Look for patterns. If you find a doctor has dozens of reviews saying there are billing errors, it’s likely that’s true. If there are dozens of reviews calling the doctor friendly and approachable and one that says the doctor is standoffish, it’s more likely that the friendly and approachable aspect is true.
Read reviews in several spots. Google, Yelp, Facebook, and Healthgrades are all places to start. Look specifically for verified reviews that prove the reviewer really did see that doctor.
Ask for Referrals
If your mom likes her doctor, ask that doctor for a referral. The doctor may not specialize in geriatric care but knows someone who. Ask friends and family members for suggestions, too. When you have suggestions, start reading reviews.
Look at Office Hours
There’s a doctor in the right area who gets great reviews. You look at the office hours and the doctor is only at that location until noon. That might not be convenient if you’re the person who drives your mom to appointments and works during the week.
Schedule an Introductory Meeting
Schedule a meeting to meet the new doctor. Your mom can ask questions and make sure she likes the new doctor. If there is a personality clash, it’s better to know before you schedule a full medical exam.
With a doctor you and your mom can trust, a caregiver can cover the aspect of socialization when aging at home. Elder care services like companionship and transportation ensure your mom is able to spend time with other seniors and with someone each day at home.