Update on Coronavirus / COVID-19 and senior safety, click here for more information.

How to Select a Primary Care Doctor for Your Senior Loved One

By , 9:00 am on

A primary care physician (PCP) can address your aging parent’s complex medical needs, so it’s important to find a PCP who is skilled, compassionate, and trustworthy. Here are a few tips for choosing the right physician for your senior loved one.

Search Your Parent’s Health Insurance Network

When searching for a PCP, start by researching the doctors covered by your parent’s insurance plan. Once you have a list of in-network doctors, you can narrow your choices based on your parent’s criteria. Your loved one may prefer to be treated by a doctor of the same gender or want a PCP who is board-certified to treat seniors. When possible, let your loved one play an active role in the selection process.

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Bethlehem, PA, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Assess Your Parent’s Comfort Level

Age-related health issues can be sensitive topics, and seniors who don’t feel comfortable sharing their ailments with their doctors may not receive the necessary treatment. When selecting a PCP, look for a medical expert who spends quality time with older adults and makes them feel comfortable in his or her presence.

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care. Bethlehem families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

Ask for Referrals

If you’re having difficulty finding the right doctor for your parent, don’t hesitate to ask for referrals. Consult with friends and relatives or ask for recommendations from local health professionals like your parent’s pharmacist. If your loved one is living with a health condition like Alzheimer’s, it’s important to find a PCP with experience treating that condition. Get in touch with advocacy groups, as they may be able to provide local recommendations.

Use Electronic Health Platforms

Many modern PCPs use electronic health platforms, which allow seniors to schedule their next appointment, communicate with their doctors, and view their health records. While seniors may or may not have the computer literacy needed to access these healthcare portals, they can be a big help to caregivers. These platforms collect a lot of essential information in one place, and they offer easy ways to schedule and cancel appointments. For busy caregivers, these online tools can make the daily to-do list a little more manageable. If you prefer doctors with an online presence, make sure to take it into account when searching for your parent’s next PCP.

Do Some Online Research

Once you’ve narrowed your list of potential doctors down to a manageable size, do a little online research. There are plenty of websites that provide things like a doctor’s credentials and user ratings. Popular websites include RateMDs.com, Vitals.com, and Healthgrades.com.

Schedule a Meeting

If you have a good feeling about a potential doctor, schedule an appointment. Come prepared with a list of questions you want answered, ranging from the doctor’s experience with certain medical conditions to his or her scheduling policies. An in-person interview can help you assess the PCP’s personality and bedside manner.

While doctors can treat various age-related health issues, they don’t offer help with daily tasks. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Bethlehem respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at 484-350-3874 today.