Many of us cared for a loved one, helping with medications, preventing falls, assisting with showers, helping around the house, and generally providing much needed companionship. But caregivers haven't been traditionally regarded as part of a patient's care team of professional doctors, specialists, and nurses. Doctors are however, slowly coming the realization that caregivers also play an essential role in their health care and overall well-being.
In a recent posting on Today's Caregiver, several tips were shared for both
doctors and caregivers, which could help made their working relationships easier and more amicable. Tips for Doctors from Caregivers
Tips for Caregivers from HealthCare Professionals
- Allow yourself to feel for the caregiver and be in support of their role.
- Be as up front as possible with any health conditions or diagnoses of loved ones.
- Do not be afraid to ask how the caregiver is doing, and think of their needs even when tending to a loved one.
- Be thorough and open with any medications you may prescribe, and alert the caregiver to any concerns or side effects that may result.
- Always be comfortable enough to tell the caregiver about any resources or health care options available, outside of prescribing medication and diagnosing the illness.
- Consider how a diagnosis may affect the caregiver, and will the caregiver be affected by the therapy chosen.
- Explain the legalities of any emergency actions from resuscitation rights to sustaining life on a respirator.
- Allow caregivers enough time to make decisions in the life of their loved ones in non-emergency settings. Never be quick to rush them into deciding right away upon a certain medication or treatment.
Source: Mackey, R. (2011), "Improving Doctor/Caregiver Relationships"; Today's Caregiver. Original article can be viewed here.
- Be aware of a loved one’s medical condition prior to a doctor visit.
- Be supportive of the doctor’s willingness to help, and saying “thank you” may mean a whole lot more than expected.
- Be honest with concerns and questions, and understand that not every question has an easy response.
- Know the intricacies at the doctor’s office and/or hospital in case of emergency.
- Some doctors offer consultation appointments that allow a sit-down setting with the doctor to discuss all the issues and concerns.
- Keep emotions in check and remember a doctor is there to help as best they can. It is always good to write down any questions ahead of time.