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How to Advocate for your Loved One at their Next Doctor's Appointment

Doctor’s appointments are brief. At times, it can feel as if you spend more time in the waiting room than in actual exam room with the physician. In fact, according to a 2018 study, the average wait time for a doctor in the US is 18 minutes. With so much to accomplish in so little time, it is important to advocate for our aging loved ones.

Here is a list of 5 ways you can help advocate for your loved ones at their next appointment:

1.      Prepare Ahead of Time


According to, it is a good idea to ask your loved one how they are feeling and if anything has been bothering them several weeks before the appointment. They will be more likely to share in a relaxed setting than on the spot in the doctor’s office.


2.      Take Notes


It’s important to make sure you document your loved ones concerns, however, it’s also equally important to make note of what the doctor says. For example, follow up appointments, lab work, new medications are all things you want to make note of. The goal is to understand and to be understood.


3.      Arrive at Least 15 minutes Early


Arrive at least 15 minutes early to give yourself ample time to check in, complete any forms, and have vitals taken. Early arrival ensures that your visit can be spent on your concerns.


4.      Ask Questions


If a new medication is prescribed, ask questions. Inquire about any potential side effects. If something is unclear, ask for clarification. Medical jargon can be hard to understand. If a diagnosis is made, ask ‘what else it could be?’ This can help your physician look into alternatives.

We hope these tips help! How do you advocate for your loved ones as the doctors? Leave a comment!


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