When you’re a family caregiver to an older adult, one of the tasks you probably find yourself doing is taking them to doctor appointments. The time of day caregivers schedule appointments for their senior family members can depend on a lot of factors, such as their own work schedules.
You may think the only think about the doctor’s schedule you need to take into consideration is when they are available. However, it turns out that a new study suggests seeing a doctor in the morning may get your aging relative better care.
About the Study
The study showed that doctors are like a lot of us, they do their best work in the morning. It involved 53,000 participants and showed that patients who see doctors early in the day are more likely to receive information about cancer screenings. Specifically, the researchers found that 64 percent of women who saw the doctor at 8 a.m. were referred for breast cancer screenings. That number declined as the day went on, spiked again around lunchtime, and then went down again. By 5 p.m., only 48 percent of women received referrals. They found the same trend in colon cancer screenings.
The researchers believe the decline in referrals happens because as the day goes on, doctors get behind and need to get through their patients more quickly. This leaves them less time to talk about cancer screenings and other kinds of preventative care. Another reason the quality of care may decline is that doctors can suffer from physical and mental fatigue as their workday wears on.
Tips for Taking Seniors to the Doctor
Of course, it’s not always possible for caregivers to get their older family members to the doctor at 8 a.m. However, there are things you can do to make the appointment go well and get your loved one the best care possible, such as:
- Preparing for the appointment by writing a list of questions for the doctor.
- Taking notes during the appointment so that you can refer to them later.
- If the older adult is likely to be anxious about the appointment, start talking to them about it a few weeks ahead of time to build a comfort level.
Although the senior might receive the most thorough care in the morning, it’s still best to schedule appointments for the time of day when they are typically at their best. This is especially important if the older adult has dementia since caregivers and doctors will have an easier time getting them to comply with instructions.
Are you or a loved one considering hiring Elderly Care in Cammack Village, AR? First Choice Senior Care can help. Serving all of Little Rock and Central Arkansas. Please call and talk to our caring staff today. (501) 916-9307
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