Understanding the diagnosis
One of the most challenging aspects of care can simply be understanding the diagnosis. There are a variety of sources to help you learn more about the conditions and diseases that may affect older adults. However, it is extremely important to identify accurate information and credible sources. The National Institutes of Health developed How to Evaluate Health Information on the Internet: Questions and Answers to help you determine if the information found online is credible. The National Institutes of Health’s Clear Health Resource List is also a great place to start your search for more information.
Talking with your doctor
The National Institutes on Aging provides a comprehensive list of resources for talking to your doctor including how to prepare for your doctor’s appointment, how to identify a doctor you can talk to and questions to ask your doctor. The website also provides several templates to assist you in managing your loved ones health.
The Family Caregiver Alliance’s Caregiver’s Guide to Medication and Aging provides an overview of medication and aging, a list of questions about medications to ask medical professionals, a list of things your pharmacist can help you with and a host of other topics. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality developed How to Create a Pill Card as a guide for keeping up with your loved ones medications. The downloadable template is easy to update and can be easily shared with medical professionals and family members.
Having the tough conversations
The Conversation Starter Project is a free resource that can be used to discuss health care wishes with your loved one and family. The kits are offered in a variety of languages. Additionally, you can visit the Legal Documents to Assist Caregivers page for additional information on the documents needed to manage your loved ones health.