What You Should Know About Your Parents' Medical Conditions

Posted: 10/19/2015 3:46 PM by Interim HealthCare
Though you put a tremendous amount of time, effort, and energy into creating an elder care plan for your aging loved ones that focuses on protecting them from health hazards and keeping them as strong and healthy as possible throughout their later years, illness is a reality of life. Whether it is a minor complaint such as a cold, a chronic issue such as congestive heart failure, or something more serious such as cancer, if illness arrives in your aging loved ones' life, it is essential that you are ready to handle every step of the process so that you can help them through the recovery or management of the illness in an effective, compassionate way that is right for your seniors.

One way that you can accomplish this goal is by making sure that you know everything that you need to know about your parents' medical condition when it arises. This enables you to work in conjunction with their medical team and their elderly health care services provider to develop a course of treatment and management you all feel comfortable with and confident about.
Things that you should know about your parents' medical conditions include:

Exact diagnosis. Make sure you know exactly what your parents are facing, including the full name for the condition. Many illnesses and conditions have colloquial or shortened names that are used to discuss them with non-medical people. This can be helpful in some instances, but can also limit your understanding of the actual condition. Make sure the doctor tells you the exact diagnosis, including the full name and spelling of that name, at the time of diagnosis.

Symptoms. It may seem like if a doctor gives your parents a diagnosis based on symptoms they describe during the appointment that those are the symptoms of the condition. Asking for a list of symptoms, however, lets you clarify which of your parents' complaints are related to that specific health concern so that you can identify others that will not be affected by the treatment or could be an indication of other conditions.

Prognosis. In order to modify your parents' elder care plan around their health conditions you need to know what to expect for the future of that condition. Even though each person experiences conditions differently, as the doctor to give you a rundown of what the "typical" progression of the disease looks like, or to give you examples of what could happen in the future with that disease. Make sure you know what types of symptoms or changes should warrant a return trip to the doctor or a change in the treatment approach.

Your responsibility. Ask the doctor to give you clear instructions about what you should do to keep your seniors moving forward through their recovery, or to help them manage their illness effectively. This can include dietary guidelines, exercise recommendations, rest standards, and other things you can integrate into your care routine to support their ongoing health and wellbeing.

If you have an aging loved one in need of elder care contact Interim HealthCare today.