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Doctor Appointment Tips: Questions Seniors Should Ask Their Doctors

There have been a lot of changes since the Covid-19 virus swept across our nation and the world. One of these changes is the way business is conducted in our doctor’s offices and hospitals.

Mandates and restrictions have been in place to enhance the safety of patients and staff members. Those mandates and restrictions have made going to the doctor a whole new experience.

There has been uncertainty among patients, especially seniors, regarding the spread and contagion levels of the virus, which has resulted in many people avoiding the doctor’s office.

Here we are, two years later, and we are seeing light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel. Some of you may have turned 65 during the Covid pandemic and are now on Medicare. Others may be ready to make an appointment with the doctor to discuss minor medical problems that you’ve been trying to ignore to keep from being around “sick people” at the doctor’s office.

Maybe you have lost a spouse or loved one who made all your pre-Covid appointments for you, and now you’re wondering exactly how to do it and what the new protocol is.

This post is for you.

Let’s refresh ourselves on what to say when making a doctor’s appointment, how to make a doctor’s appointment for the first time, and questions seniors should ask their doctors.

Making the appointment:

If you’re going to a doctor that you’ve been to before, the office staff may have changed. When you make the call to schedule your appointment, simply state your name and your desire to make an appointment. The receptionist will ask for your date of birth if you already have yourself established as a patient to verify your identity.

The receptionist should take it from there. You will be asked why you would like the appointment and whether your health insurance has changed since your last visit. You will be given some available dates and times to choose from. After you’ve settled on the date and time, you’re all set.

The receptionist may remind you that masks are required in the office if that is the case at the time of your appointment.

If you are making an appointment with a new doctor for the first time, the receptionist will ask you additional questions, such as who referred you, and who your health insurance is with to be sure the office accepts your insurance.

How to Prepare for a Doctor’s Appointment:

  • Arrive on time or a little before your scheduled appointment.
  • Bring your Photo ID and Insurance cards with you.
  • Have a current list of all the medications you take and the correct dosage. This includes vitamins, supplements, and over-the-counter medications.
  • Prioritize your medical problems and concerns.
  • Make a list of questions you want to ask the doctor.
  • Ask a family member or friend to accompany you if the office permits.

Making and preparing for a doctor’s appointment is not complicated. Here are a few more doctor appointment tips that will help you have a productive and successful visit.

  • Be honest, and don’t leave out details. Your doctor has heard it all.
  • Don’t be embarrassed. Explain how you’re feeling and what your symptoms are.
  • Write things down so you won’t forget important aspects of your visit.
  • Don’t leave confused. If you didn’t understand something, ask the doctor to explain.

Remember, your doctor’s goal is to guide you to good health and to help you retain the best health possible as you age. A doctor you can trust and confide in can help you uphold a healthy and satisfying life in the golden years.

Take care and stay well!