Trying to take care of a parent suffering from dementia, no matter the cause, is difficult enough even when they're in perfect health aside from the mental complications. However, taking a person with memory issues to a routine doctor's visit can turn into a major struggle. Find a doctor who still
Less Stress and Anxiety
Paranoia is a common symptom of dementia, so getting an elderly parent to agree to see a doctor is challenging enough without asking them to leave the comfort and safety of home. Taking a dementia patient into unfamiliar surroundings, like a doctor's office, often triggers further problems like:
- Anxiety that leads to agitation and outright aggression towards caretakers and doctors
- Injuries due to frailty or confusion
- Aggression aimed at strangers as you sit in the waiting room or on the subway
- Fatigue and depression due to not understanding what is happening
- Illnesses developing after the visit due to the immune-suppressing effect of stress.
More Focus on the Patient
Doctors working in the office or hospital need to see dozens of patients per day to keep up with the appointment book. When a physician decides to make house calls instead, they change their focus to seeing fewer patients per day due to all the travel time involved in going between homes. This means your parent gets plenty of one-on-one attention, resulting in better care.
Fewer Travel Difficulties
Does your parent spend all of their time in a wheelchair or an adjustable bed? Moving a patient with mobility issues is difficult enough when the person cooperates, but traveling with a combative person who needs to be carried to the car is downright impossible. Let the doctor handle the traveling instead of trying to move someone who doesn't want to leave their house or bedroom.
Finally, many dementia patients wander because they become distracted by old memories of going to work or visiting friends. Keeping a patient inside one building for all or most of their time may reduce wandering by keeping them focused on familiar surroundings. Some dementia patients only wander after a trip to the doctor because the new surroundings throw off what little control they have over their memories.
It likely costs a little more to hire a doctor that makes house calls, but the price pays off in big ways. Your parent can thrive and enjoy years of good health despite suffering from dementia when you tailor their health care to their needs.Share