How are you? It’s the question we ask many times a day. It’s the way we open every conversation with family members. But how much detail do we expect in the answer?
How much do we want to know?
Does part of your family relationship and responsibility tie directly to the health and well-being of aging parents? How much of this responsibility do you shoulder, or how much attention to your own health and well-being is a primary concern of your family members? These are questions we all must address at some point.
In dealing with issues of health in a time when health care presents more options than ever, and more changes in how it may be delivered, family collaboration and cooperation can be every bit as important as what the doctors and nurses provide. Having a family member or close friend accompany you or your parent to the doctor’s office is one of the best ways to be of help, whether the visit is dealing with illness or for a wellness check-up; four ears are much better than two!
A friend of mine described a visit to her 85 year old mother’s cardiologist this way: “My mom is totally with it. Her mind is clear, her memory sharp. But perhaps it’s typical of her generation that she usually starts out smiling at the doctor and complimenting him on his tie. Then she waits for his words of wisdom.”
My friend understands that more is needed on the patient’s part, so she prepares for the visit by making a list, with her mother, of all the questions they need to ask. She takes notes during the visit. She makes sure she and her mother bring a list of all medications her mother takes. She makes sure they understand any instructions the doctor gives them and repeats them back to the doctor to be sure.
How are you dealing with issues of health in your family?
I hope this finds you well!