A Caregiver’s Guide: Attending Appointments Together
- by Steve R.
- November 13, 2017
Steve R. is a paid Advocate for Teva Neuroscience, Inc.
Three benefits of attending my wife’s doctor’s appointments as her Care Partner.
“Another doctor’s appointment” — these could very well be familiar words to any person with a relapsing form of MS (RMS). My wife Judy, an RMS patient, can sometimes feel overwhelmed by the constant demand for exams, MRIs and tests. We’ve found that when we attend her appointments together, it can result in a number of positives.
- It’s a vivid reminder to your loved one that they have a partner in the journey — a reminder to them that it’s not just their disease, but, rather, it affects both of you. Judy doesn’t have RMS; WE have RMS. Actions speak louder than words, and the act of joining your loved one at a doctor’s visit may speak volumes.
- It can give both of you “another set of ears” to process information provided by the doctor or nurse. In our experience, we have found that our health care team seems more attentive when both of us are in the room.
- It may give the caregiver an opportunity to offer observations about the patient’s current condition. Knowing that I may need to answer questions from Judy’s doctor or nurse makes me more aware of her daily progress.
Overall, a doctor’s visit can become another shared experience and another chance to stick together on the RMS journey.
One last tip that works for Judy and me: Try to schedule your appointments shortly before lunch or at the end of the day. This provides the opportunity to go directly from the appointment on a nice date together! We enjoy doing that because it’s fun, and it gives both of us a chance to process what we learned from our doctor’s visit.