Doctor's Appointments: Tips for Caregivers
June 13, 2022
- Bring a list of questions, starting with what is most important to you and the person, and take notes on what the doctor recommends. Ask the person in advance how you can be most helpful during the visit. Both the questions and the notes you write down can be helpful later, either to give information to another caregiver or family member or to remind the patient what the doctor said.
- Before the appointment, ask the person and the other caregivers if they have any questions or concerns, they would like you to bring up.
- Bring a list of ALL medicines and dietary supplements the person is taking, both prescription and over the counter, and include the dosage and schedule. If he or she sees several different doctors, one may not necessarily know what another has prescribed.
- When the doctor asks a question, let the person answer unless you have been asked to do so.
- It’s easy to get into a two-way conversation between the doctor and yourself—try not to do this. Always include both the person you care for and the doctor when you talk.
- Respect the person’s privacy and leave the room when necessary.
- If you live out of town, talk to the doctor about how you can keep up to date on the person’s health since you live out of town.
- Ask the doctor to recommend helpful community resources.
- Larger medical practices, hospitals, and nursing homes may have a social worker on staff. The social worker may have valuable suggestions about community resources and other information.
5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Doctor’s Visit
For your convenience, use these worksheets to organize your questions, family and medical history, and information when talking with your doctor. You can download, print, and copy the worksheets.
Record your family health history worksheet – A family medical history can identify people with a higher-than-usual chance of having common disorders, such as heart disease, diabetes, and more. This form can help you organize your thoughts about conditions and illnesses that have affected your family members.
View Worksheet 1: Family Health History (PDF, 107K)
Questions to consider when choosing a new doctor worksheet – Use this worksheet to answer some questions for, and about, a new doctor you are considering.
View Worksheet 2: Questions to Ask Your Doctor (PDF, 112K)
Life changes to discuss with your doctor worksheet – It’s important to tell your doctor about any changes in your life since your last appointment. Use this worksheet to help you record what you want to discuss with your doctor during your next visit.
View Worksheet 3: Changes to Discuss (PDF, 122K)
Prioritizing concerns to share with your doctor worksheet – Use this form to help organize your thoughts about any health or other concerns you want to discuss with your doctor.
View Worksheet 4: Concerns (PDF, 107K)
Tracking your medications worksheet – This worksheet can help you keep track of different medicines, including vitamins, over-the-counter drugs, and prescriptions.
View Worksheet 5: Medications (PDF, 118K)