Home Health Care News

The Caregivers Guide to Arthritis: Your Loved One’s Medical Care

If your loved one is in pain, it may be hard for them to juggle the details of medical care alone. He or she may need help getting to doctor’s appointments, remembering details of appointments, taking medications and making sure prescriptions are refilled. You can be an extra set of eyes and ears for your family member, and an aid in navigating the best health care plan for him or her.

Your relationship with the Doctor/Staff

Being able to communicate concerns you have about your spouse or parent to the doctor and staff members is essential. But you also need to make sure that your participation does not erode your family member’s own relationship with the physician, instead supporting and augmenting it, a sometimes delicate balance. Here are ways you can develop a positive relationship with the physician and support your loved one’s relationship as well.

What you can do to help

  • Educate yourself.
    • Learn all you can about the different types of arthritis, its complications and the side effects of arthritis drugs (if any). Websites with excellent information include the Arthritis Foundation, www.arthitis.org; the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, www.niams.nih.gov; and the American College of Rheumatology, www.rheumatology.org.
  • Attend doctor’s visits.
    • The doctor may offer a lot of information at once and sometimes in language that can be tough to understand. By being at each visit, you can take notes and also ask the doctor to explain technical terms you and your family member may not understand.
  • Prepare ahead.
    • Ask your spouse or parent what they want to talk to the doctor about and write those concerns and questions down before the doctor’s visit. Add your own observations about any medical changes you’ve noticed, like increased pain, lack of appetite, and sleeplessness.
  • Acknowledge disagreements.
    • Let the doctor know if there are areas of care that you and your family member don’t agree on. Discuss those concerns in private with the doctor.
  • If you’re and adult child caring for a parent, the most important this is for you to know what your parent is feeling and what she needs from you.
    • Ask about her worries and concerns about her future, about her arthritis, about her medical care, and about your involvement. Try to find out what her preferences are about where she wants to live and what kind of care she wants and needs. Try to remember that your parent probably values independence as much as you do.
Home Instead Senior Care is an in-home health care provider located in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina serving individuals and families in the Myrtle Beach and Grand Strand area for over 11 years! We offer assistance to those in need for companionship, home help, personal care, short-term recovery, Alzheimer’s care, Respite care and many other services to make your life easier.

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Murrells Inlet, SC 29576