“My mom refuses to go to the doctor!” How many times have we all heard this and for good reason?
Then our seniors tell us the doctor keeps them waiting, never listens to them, just gives them another pill, and they’re so over it.
Yes, many of us have been there. Why does mom have these deep-rooted inhibitions against seeing doctors?
More than likely it is one of two reasons: Fear of the unknown (she may be told she has an incurable disease) and a lifetime of negative experiences with doctors (which may not have always been the fault of the professional.)
Here are a couple of tips if they refuse to go to the doctor:
- Ask them directly what it is they don’t like about going. You may need to dig deep to get to the bottom of what the problem is. Helping them to confront the issues head-on may get them over the fear they have. Try not to tell them their fears are nonsense because to them they are real. See if you can walk them through their fear so they reach the conclusion that “there is nothing to fear but fear itself” on their own.
- Convince them it is their idea. Don’t tell them to outright to go. Ask if they think it would be a good idea to see the doctor about their upset stomach. Then the doc can prescribe a medication to make them feel better. Or, “would you like to get a prescription for your upset stomach?” If they say “yes” this will lead directly into you saying “OK, I will call and make an appointment for us to visit doctor so-and-so.” Get up and make the call. When you come back bring a cup of coffee or something for the two of you to do together so she doesn’t have a chance to obsess about the appointment.
- Have the doctor come to her or use telemedicine. Doctors still make house calls. Just go online and you will find of list of them. Or, call the local assisted living community and ask who they use. Most of these communities have doctors, podiatrists, optometrists, and hearing aid specialists come to see their residents. Most will take your insurance and Medicare
And the biggest secret of all?
Get them to engage with their doctor and make their doctor stop, slow down and talk to them!!
Pick up a copy of the 4 Steps to Optimize Your Doctor Visits and use this magic guide to have them feel good about their doctor experience.
No need to refuse to go to the doctor.
Have them want to go from now on.