Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"Can you take me to my Doctor?" Share a moment with your seniors

There is never enough conversation about this topic.  In my conversation with a doctor recently he explained that the biggest challenge his patients face are transportation and communication. Interestingly these two topics go hand in hand.


"My daughter cannot make it and my son is out of town, how do I make it to the doctor's appointment?"  Or very often they just don't know what to do to make sure that they can get around. They are at a stage when it is no longer safe for them to be driving and hence do not have license any longer. Also they need help getting in and out of the car and also to move around. This is not a situation when they could call for cab services. The needs includes lot more than that. "Don't you know I have a problem with the left leg and also I have a bad back?" . Seniors are often worried when they have to plan a trip as to who can hep them with understanding and compassion. With the pace f today's life, family may not have the ability to  take their parents around all the time. While the sandwich generation puts in a lot of effort, many times they themselves are stretched too thin.


"So how was the doctor visit?" the daughter asked. "It was alright", mom replied. "Did the doctor give any new instructions?" the daughter continued. "Yeah... he said something...... some kind of a test.....  can't remember properly what he said. Yeah he also said to change some medications........ Oh  I forgot reg the next appointment..... I left the card behind....". Doctors tells me that this is the most frustrating part of their work, where the communication is not reaching the family and as a result the health of the elderly suffers.

This is a typical everyday situation with the life of  an elderly. The need of the hour is to offer services that understands the situation and offers solution. What we learned with these experiences, we put that in effect with our services. We offer to drive the elderly for their doctor visits. Our caregivers are trained to take notes regarding doctors recommendations on what needs to be done, when etc. They becomes the eyes and ears for the seniors. The notes are then passed on to the family members. I was discussing the new approach with a Geriatric Care Manager I work with  very closely. "Sam, what you have here is very well developed and has a lot of value for the families". Health Services Director in a retirement community told me "this solves the problem we have been having for several years".

For us Seniors are not part of a forgotten society, they are the reason and the passion for our existence.

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