Seniors Versus Doctors: Coaxing a Senior to Seek Medical Care


Having a senior loved one under your wing is never easy. You are constantly worried if they are safe and okay and if they eat their meals and take prescription meds on time. If you work away from home, it can be easy to get distracted knowing your aging parent or relative is home alone. This is especially true if you find them needing a doctor’s appointment.

It is not surprising why many seniors are reluctant to visit a doctor. It does not even matter if you are taking them to their own geriatric doctor or a different specialist such as a neurologist for their neuropathy symptoms. There will be elderly patients who will refuse medical care.

Why some elders refuse to go to a doctor

Like any other patients, seniors can have different reasons for wanting to skip a doctor’s appointment. This can be even though they are in great pain and obviously require professional medical care. Some seniors are afraid to know their diagnosis while others are in denial of their needs. Some seniors are embarrassed and uncomfortable to let other people know of their condition. Some simply lost faith in doctors due to past experiences.

There are also cases when seniors refuse doctor’s appointments due to their lack of economic security. According to the National Council on Aging, more than 25 million American seniors struggle financially. They don’t want to burden their kids and family with high medical costs, thus rejecting a doctor’s appointment. Knowing the reason behind your senior loved one’s unwillingness to go to a doctor is the first step in helping them get the necessary medical care they need.

Persuading a senior loved one to see a doctor

It can be tricky to convince your elderly loved one to attend a doctor’s appointment, but it is not impossible. What you can do is to talk to them when they are in a good mood and voice your growing concern about their health. Tell them their health and safety is your number one priority and that they will still have a say when it comes to their appointment. Ensure that you will be staying with them throughout their appointment to encourage them more.

If your loved one is still adamant about seeing a new doctor, you can enlist the help of their primary doctor. If they trust their primary doctor enough, then you will find that they will be more than willing to go to the new doctor. Sometimes, seniors prefer listening to others who more who are the same age or older and already established authority in their chosen field than their loved ones.

It is important that you find your aging loved one a quality doctor. But it is also a must that you choose someone who has lots of experience dealing with reluctant seniors. This way, you know that your loved one is in competent hands that also understand a senior’s concerns and perspective.

Seniors often feel they are fast losing their freedom and control. This is sometimes the reason why they would contradict the advice of their younger love ones. If you are having difficulties convincing your senior relative to seek medical care, know that you are not alone. What you can do is to step up your game but try to be patient. Maintaining clear communication with your senior loved one is the key to making them understand you only want what’s best for them.


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