When Seniors Avoid Doctor Appointments: Tips to Help

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Learn why some seniors avoid doctor appointments and how you can best encourage your senior loved one to seek regular care.

Let’s face it: lots of us delay going to the doctor’s office. It may be awkward and downright frightening when something is wrong and we’re facing the prospect of an unwanted diagnosis. Even so, we realize it makes sense to accomplish what is most beneficial for our overall health as well as be conscientious about getting essential health care.

For older adults, a range of additional issues enter into play as well, typically contributing to the decision to forego that check-up or follow-up appointment, even if it is undoubtedly not in their very best interest. When an older adult digs in her heels, refusing to visit the doctor, it is important to first understand why the opposition is occurring, to deal with those worries, and be able to understand how best to provide encouragement.

One of the most significant reasons seniors avoid doctor appointments and health procedures is fear. It may seem better and easier just to disregard symptoms and hope they’ll resolve themselves on their own. For others, the worry is sometimes financial. Or they may want to prevent the embarrassment of being reminded of a weight problem, or to disclose living an unhealthy lifestyle.

Regardless of the reason, the bottom line is that it is essential for the elderly to look after their health, which requires routine medical examinations and being proactive in bringing to light any worries. So as an adult child, how can you best help overcome your parent’s objections to seeing the physician?

At JFS Care, we have discovered that one of the most successful strategies to convince aging parents to take care of themselves is by their adult children expressing what it means to them. Our parents have cared for us all of our lives, and want what is most beneficial for us. Sharing your point of view can make a difference towards convincing them of the necessity and subsequently supporting them to stay healthy. For example, try initiating the discussion like this:

“Mom, the pain you have been suffering with your wrist is really concerning me. Can we go and have that checked out so that I can stop worrying?”

You could be surprised at how readily your aging parent will agree, knowing that it can benefit you. Should you continue to struggle with assisting your loved one with being aware of the need for appropriate medical care, turn to JFS Care. We’re knowledgeable in helping families with navigating the often challenging transition to accept help in the home, and frequently the advice of a knowledgeable, unbiased 3rd party can make a world of difference in reducing worries and shifting the focus to the many advantages of in-home care. Reach out to us any time at (213) 383-2273 for home care services in Encino and the surrounding area.