Helping Your Friend or Family Member:

Things to Consider

When helping your friend or family member, here are a few things you may also wish to consider:

  • Allow your friend/family member to talk to the doctor. You are there to be their support. If they omit information then you should speak up, but, otherwise, be respectful by letting them manage as much as they can during the appointment.
  • Helping your friend or family member keep their medication records up to date. If their physician has discontinued a medication, changed the dose, be sure you update the list and throw the old prescription out!!!! Because of the high cost of prescriptions, people tend to "save" their discontinued medications "just in case the doctor decides to reorder it at a later date." As you can imagine, this can be a dangerous practice!!!! Your friend /family member may confuse the pile of pills and take medications that the doctor has discontinued or changed.

    If the doctor has kept the dose a particular medication unchanged but has changed how often your friend/family member has to take the prescription, be sure the instructions on the prescription bottle are changed to be in sync with the doctor's new order.

  • Create a calendar for their appointments. You can help them keep track of annual visits with dentists, eye doctors or other specialists in addition to writing down the date of their next appointment in a calendar.

    Hopefully, by now you have helped your friend/family member create a healthcare binder that includes a calendar and a medication record sheet. If you have, you can update your friend/family member's appointment schedule and medication changes on the spot!

  • If they are going for any procedures, be aware of any special instructions. Be sure you understand the purpose of the test, if there are any food restrictions before or after the test, whether or not your friend/family member should take all their medications before the procedure and know the risks or side effects.

You are doing a wonderful thing by helping your friend or family member be better prepared when they go to the doctor. Just be sure you are prepared as well!!!!

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