Elder Care in Warren, MI

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On February 18, 2013, Posted by , In Caregivers, By ,,,, , With Comments Off on Elder Care in Warren, MI

Choosing a Doctor You and Your Parents Are Comfortable With

Choosing the doctors who will care for your parent is a critical decision that determines the level and quality of care they will receive. Here are some tips for choosing the best doctor, that will meet your family’s needs.

Identify Several Possible Doctors

Once you have a general sense of what you are looking for, ask friends and relatives, medical specialists, and other health professionals for the names of doctors with whom they have had good experiences. Rather than just getting a name, ask about the person’s experiences. For example: say, “What do you like about Dr. Smith?” and “Does this doctor take time to answer questions?” A doctor whose name comes up often may be a strong possibility.

If you belong to a managed care plan—a health maintenance organization (HMO) or preferred provider organization (PPO)—you may be required to choose a doctor in the plan or else you may have to pay extra to see a doctor outside the network. Most managed care plans will provide information on their doctors’ backgrounds and credentials. Some plans have websites with lists of participating doctors from which you can choose.

It may be helpful to develop a list of a few names you can choose from. As you find out more about the doctors on this list, you may rule out some of them. In some cases, a doctor may not be taking new patients and you may have to make another choice.

Choose a “Board Certified” Doctor

Doctors who are board certified have extra training after regular medical school. They also have passed an exam certifying their expertise in specialty areas. Examples of specialty areas are general internal medicine, family medicine, geriatrics, gynecology, and orthopedics. Board certification is one way to learn about a doctor’s medical expertise; it doesn’t tell you about the doctor’s communication skills. There are plenty of other Internet resources too—for example, you can find doctors through the American Medical Association’s website at http://www.ama-assn.org/ (click on “Doctor Finder”). For a list of doctors who participate in Medicare, visit http://www.medicare.gov/ (click on “Search Tools” then “Find a Doctor”). WebMD also provides a list of doctors at http://webmd.com/ (click on “Find a Doctor”).

Visit the Office

Once you have narrowed your list to two or three doctors, call their offices. The office staff is a good source of information about the doctor’s education and qualifications, office policies, and payment procedures. Pay attention to the office staff—you will have to deal with them often!

You may want to set up an appointment to meet and talk with a doctor you are considering. He or she is likely to charge you for such a visit. After the appointment, ask yourself whether this doctor is a person with whom you could work well. If you are not satisfied, schedule a visit with one of your other candidates.

 

When learning about a doctor, consider asking questions like:

  • Do you have many older patients?
  • How do you feel about involving family in care decisions?
  • Can I call or email you or your staff when I have questions? Do you charge for telephone or email time?
  • What are your thoughts about complementary or alternative treatments?

When making a decision about which doctor to choose, you might want to ask yourself questions like:

  • Did the doctor give me a chance to ask questions?
  • Was the doctor really listening to me?
  • Could I understand what the doctor was saying? Was I comfortable asking him or her to say it again?

The First Visit

Once you’ve chosen a doctor, make your first actual health care appointment. This visit may include a medical history and a physical exam. Be sure to bring your medical records, or have them sent from your former doctor. Bring a list of your current medicines or take the medications with you. If you haven’t already met the doctor, ask for extra time during this visit to ask any questions you have about the doctor or the practice.

Source:  http://www.agingcare.com/

Contact Pure Home Care Services at (586) 293-2457 today!  If you live in Warren or the surrounding area, we can help you care for your loved ones.

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