Is your elderly loved one afraid of going to the doctor’s office? If so, it might be for many reasons, including financial burdens or fear of what they’ll hear. This can happen with anyone, but it frequently occurs in children and seniors.
If you’re concerned about your loved one’s health, let’s explore how you can help seniors overcome their fear of doctors.
Talk With the Doctor
A great way to help soothe a senior’s anxiety about an upcoming doctor visit is to talk with the doctor before the exam. Communicating with them beforehand gives them advance notice of the kind of situation they’re working with, so they can adequately prepare.
Many doctors are great with tending to nervous patients, so be sure to let them know how your loved one is feeling and potential ways you can work together to help them feel more comfortable.
If your elderly loved one has a medical visit coming up, try to accompany them to help them feel more connected and relaxed.
Oftentimes, one can feel nervous at a doctor’s office because they’re alone or worried they’ll forget which questions to ask.
You can accompany them by simply driving them and waiting in the reception area or physically going into the exam room with them. Show your support and do whatever will help them feel more at ease.
Try talking with your elderly family member about what exactly scares them about doctors and how you can help. If they refuse to go to a medical office, try to figure out the “why” instead of reasoning with them.
Additionally, it might be time to discuss starting in-home care if they’re struggling to complete simple tasks or need a bit of assistance around the home.
It may help to talk to them about your feelings and why their visit to the doctor will help you to feel more comfortable, especially if you’re worried about a specific health condition. This way, they’ll feel less “targeted” and more encouraged to talk about their concerns.
When you understand how you can help seniors overcome their fear of doctors, you can begin to figure out a path forward to managing a health condition or maintaining their health. Remember, communication is key to helping them feel understood and comfortable.