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Essential Tips In Choosing Senior Health Care Providers

Updated 7/27/15 3:08 pm | Keeping a close relationship with your physician is strongly recommended by us at Alert1. As a family caregiver, you can help ensure that your aging loved one keeps in close contact with their senior health care providers. These people will be influencing your loved one’s health care decisions and, therefore, their wellbeing in the home. Your loved one’s primary health care provider will play an influential role on their heath care team. Here are a few tips to consider when evaluating and/or choosing a health care provider for yourself or your loved one.

Attributes of Good Healthcare Providers

Attention – A good health care provider will focus their undivided attention on your senior and will never make them feel rushed. Even if this is the “umpteenth” similar case she/he has seen that day, your senior health care provider should not make assumptions or rush to make a diagnosis. It is beneficial for a health care provider to have an advice nurse or help line available for additional inquiries.

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  • Flexibility – Older adult health care providers should have relatively flexible working hours, including a few evenings, weekends, and/or holidays. This may be very important if your loved one is managing a chronic condition at home. You should also feel confident that, in an emergency, your loved one’s health care provider would respond quickly. A good example of this is Alert1 command center. Our trained operators are available around the clock to provide immediate aid.
  • Communication Skills  A good health care provider is adept at speaking and listening. Their language should be easy to understand and their instructions should be detailed, so that your loved one does not have any trouble understanding diagnoses or following treatments. For that same reason, Alert1 can respond to your call in over 150 languages – now that’s life-saving coverage!  A health care provider should also spend part of every office visit just listening, in order to make sure that they fully understand your loved one’s needs.

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  • Honesty – It is important to be confident in your health care provider. Not only should you be confident in their medical credentials, but you should also be confident that they are completely honest with you. A good health care provider has the bedside manner that enables him/her to honestly, but compassionately, share even the most serious information.
  • Problem solving skills – A good health care provider is creative and can think outside the box. When you face a challenge in your loved one’s health care, she/he should have the experience and problem solving skills necessary to research, craft, and implement multiple solutions. If the first solution does not work, you should choose a health care provider that has numerous other tricks up their sleeve.
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  • Interpersonal Skills – Many older adults see a variety of specialists, in addition to their primary health care provider. It is important that all of your loved one’s medical professionals are team players who work well with others. It is a red flag if anyone on your loved one’s health care provider's team is unwilling or unable to communicate with the other medical professionals involved. They should also work well in a variety of situations, as well as with nurses and other staff members.
  • Respect – A good health care provider will treat your loved one like a respected partner and will encourage your loved one to play an active role in their health care. After all, this is all about your loved one’s wellbeing. She/he should follow all rules of confidentiality, respect the wishes of each patient, and be mindful of different cultures and traditions.
  • Advocacy  Your loved one’s health care provider should also be one of their biggest advocates. It is important that they are willing and able to fight for your loved one’s health and proper treatment. A good health care provider will seek out knowledge that could benefit your loved one; she/he will not settle for second best when it comes to the quality of your loved one’s care.
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  • Compassion – This is a very simple, but important characteristic. A good senior health care provider will sincerely care about how your loved one feels, as well as how their caregiver feels. They will also be able to provide comfort to your loved one if/when necessary.
  • Not All Care is Created Equal

    It may seem daunting at first, but, with some research and careful consideration, you will find a health care provider that is a good match for your loved one. Don’t be afraid to renew your search, if your loved one does not bond with their new health care provider after a few visits. Use these essential tips when for looking a senior health care provider.

    Alert1 wants to know: How long have you or your loved one had the same primary health care provider? How did you find him/her?