When you’re helping care for your parents, communications with the different doctors are essential. If you’re not working as a team, it can lead to concerns with their care plan.
What happens if your mom or dad’s doctors don’t work together and give you conflicting information? What if they wave away your concerns saying they have the medical degree and know better? It’s not always easy to get new doctors, especially if you live in an area where there are more people than medical professionals. You don’t have to give up, however.
Why the Lack of Working Together?
There are different reasons why doctors may not work together. If you have a parent with Alzheimer’s disease or some other chronic health condition, they are likely going to see different doctors.
If your mom or dad has heart disease, they’d have their primary care physician, a cardiologist, and maybe a dietitian. They should work together and keep each other informed, but it doesn’t always happen. Some may lean more towards prescription medications, while others prefer to try a more holistic approach first.
A memory care doctor specializing in Alzheimer’s disease may not agree with the decisions the primary care doctor makes. As one tells you one thing your mom or dad should be taking to ease the agitation and anxiety, the other gets upset because he/she doesn’t believe medications should be the first step. All of this can make it hard to know who to trust and what is the best course.
Statistics Show That Second Opinions Often Bring Change
A Mayo Clinic study found that when patients asked for a second opinion, 88 percent of those patients receive a different or slightly altered diagnosis. If you break that down, it means just 12 out of 100 people were given the right diagnosis the first time.
Don’t be afraid to put your foot down and advocate for your parent. If you don’t feel the doctors are working together or really listening to you, you have every right to ask for a second opinion.
Before you take your parent for a second opinion, ask others experiencing that chronic condition or health issue what they do to treat it or manage the symptoms. Collect all the information you can to help yourself understand the potential care plans.
Reduce some of the stress you feel by making sure you’re also working with an elder care aide at your parent’s home. Don’t try to manage all of your mom or dad’s care, communications with the doctors, and appointment scheduling on your own. You’ll burn out.
An elder care agency can set you up with caregivers who will help provide the elder care services your parent needs. This leaves you with time to handle the rest. Call now to schedule a consultation.