If you or you a senior loved one are diagnosed with a medical condition, it can be a bit daunting. However, when it comes to getting the best care – knowledge is power. By asking your doctor these important questions, you can feel more in control of your health and ensure that you’re following the most suitable treatment plan.
1. What is my diagnosis?
It’s important to know exactly what your condition is, so you can be prepared for any symptoms that may arise, as well us understand the severity and best way forward for treatment. Write down the exact name of the condition. Especially if there are different types of the same condition, such as Diabetes Type 1 and Type 2, as well as the many different types of cancer and arthritis.
2. What caused my condition, and can I make any lifestyle changes to improve it?
Some health conditions are unavoidable and may be linked to genetics or other influences beyond your control. However, in some instances, there may be certain lifestyle changes you can make to help reduce the severity of the condition or simply improve your overall health. Quitting smoking, cutting down on alcohol, improving your diet and getting regular exercise are all great ways to give your body the best chance of managing your condition.
3. What are my treatment options?
Treatment for your condition could include anything from medication, occupational therapy and in-office procedures to surgery – or any combination of these. Discuss with your doctor the benefits and disadvantages of each, as well as the best time to start your treatment. If you’re not entirely confident about the recommended treatment plan, getting a second opinion from another physician may help provide more clarity.
4. Who will be in charge of my treatment plan?
In some cases, you will need to see a range of different healthcare professionals to administer the various treatments you need. These can include anything from surgeons, physical or occupational therapists, dieticians, specialised physicians and more. Dealing with so many individual healthcare professionals can be confusing. Ask your doctor who will be coordinating your treatment plan, so you have one point of contact for all your questions. Also, find out whether there will be someone available after hours or overnight should you need immediate assistance.
5. Can I look for more information or support online?
There is no shortage of information about medical conditions online. However, some of it may be factually incorrect or misleading. At best, this can cause you unnecessary concern. At worse, it can cause you to stray from your prescribed treatment plan, which may negatively affect your health. Instead of consulting Google, ask your doctor to recommend reliable websites and other sources of information and support.
6. Are there any symptom or issues I should report immediately?
Some symptoms require immediate attention, Ask your doctor which symptoms are to be expected, and which need to be addressed right away. Get specific details of symptoms that may occur, and find out who you should contact should you experience any of them. It may be important to have your healthcare provider or emergency medical contact on speed dial.
How can Totalcare help with your diagnosis?
Our seven all-inclusive Assisted Living and Frail Care centres offer all the medical and nursing care seniors need to manage and, where possible, recover from their medical conditions. Our 24-hour medical care includes access to doctors, nurses, occupational therapists and various support services, along with the dedicated support, facilities and comfort you need for a healthier and more fulfilling life – whatever the diagnosis.
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