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Support a Loved One at the Doctor: Quick tips

Visits to the doctor can be stressful, especially when someone is dealing with a serious or chronic (long-term) health condition. Use these tips to help someone you care about before, during, and after a doctor’s visit.

Before the visit:

  • Ask your loved one if he would like you to go with him to the visit.
  • Help him make a list of questions to ask the doctor or nurse.
  • Suggest that he make a folder of information to share with the doctor or nurse. He can include things like:
    • Any changes in his health since the last visit, like a serious injury or illness
    • Any recent changes in his life, like becoming unemployed
    • A family health history
    • A list of all medicines he’s taking, including over-the-counter medicines and vitamins

During the visit:

  • Introduce yourself to the doctor and explain why you are there. The doctor may ask to see your loved one in private during parts of the visit.
  • Take a notepad and write down the doctor’s advice and answers to questions.
  • If you don’t understand something the doctor says, ask her to explain it until you do understand.

After the visit:

  • Discuss the visit with your loved one and talk about what you learned. If you forget or can’t agree on what the doctor said, call the doctor’s office and ask.
  • Ask your loved one if she needs help getting any medicines or supplies that the doctor recommended.
  • Remind your loved one to set up any follow-up appointments with the doctor or nurse.

Resources to share with your loved one:

Support a Loved One at the Doctor: Quick tips

Content last updated on:
December 24, 2013