June 8th’s Call Your Doctor Day is a great time to catch up with tests and exams. Initially, Call Your Doctor Day was established to encourage women to go for a wellness exam. It’s transformed in a day to encourage all adults, no matter the gender or age, to pick up the phone or go online to see their doctors. Your mom knows she’s overdue for a wellness exam. She’s also terrified. She hates hearing the criticism of what she’s doing wrong. It’s that fear that keeps her from scheduling an appointment. You’re uncertain how to help her. What can you and her home care aide do to help your mom move past her anxiety?
Find Out Why She’s Nervous
Ask your mom what about the doctor’s appointment bothers her the most. It can be a case of not meshing with her doctor. If your mom’s personality and the doctor’s conflict, it’s often better to find a new doctor.
Consider arranging to have your mom go to a practice that is a teaching school. Residents are just as skilled and often use approaches that an established doctor ignores. It can make for a more enjoyable visit.
Bring Her to Your Appointment
If you’re due any vaccinations, blood tests, or non-invasive tests, bring your mom to your appointment. Let her see what it’s like without being the patient.
Talk to Her Doctor
If your mom permits you, talk to her doctor about her fear. Many doctors understand the anxiety and will start with short visits and work from there. Your mom may arrive for a simple blood draw to get started and decide she’s ready to get it all done.
You should mention things that have made your mom nervous about going back. If the last doctor had commented negatively on her weight, she wants a doctor who will understand that a kinder approach is better.
Don’t Push Her
As much as you want your mom to see her doctor, you can’t force her to go. Let her work through it. You could start with small steps. She goes to the local pharmacy to get her missing vaccinations or to catch up on boosters. They’ll send vaccination records to her doctor.
How Home Care can Help
While she’s working up the courage to see her doctor, she could take steps to improve her health. If she smokes, she could try to quit. If she ignores her diet, she could make changes now and embrace more grains, vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins. These are thins that a home care provider can help her with.
Encourage your mom to make the appointment. Remind her that even if she is diagnosed with a chronic health condition, she’ll have the support she needs to get through it. With family standing beside her and home care aides to help her maintain her independence at home, she’ll be able to face anything life throws her way.