If you have a family member who is getting older, you know they’d rather stay as independent as they can. One way of staying independent may be going to doctor’s appointments alone—regardless of how much you want to accompany him or her.
So you have to do a little convincing before your elderly loved allows you to accompany him or her to doctor’s appointments. What’s the best strategy? It depends on the person you are talking to. You know everyone is different. However, there are some basic strategies you can use:
Offer a trial period. If you know your family member is a negotiator, make a deal. Just say that you’d like to accompany him or her for a short time. This gives your family member time to try the idea out before totally committing. The fact is, the idea is acceptable when he or she feels in control of the situation.
Show the worry. Maybe your loved one is a people pleaser. You want to tug at his or her heart strings. Many older individuals will refuse to let anyone accompany them regardless of the reason. For instance, your mother may be stubborn, but as soon as you talk about how worried you are about her health, she concedes.
Let your loved one prove you wrong. Your relative may be someone who loves to be right. In fact, he or she may be boasting about being healthy (even though that’s not the case). So let your relative “prove” to you that he or she is healthy by letting you go with them to the doctor’s visits.
Make a pact with him or her. This is for the negotiator in the family. Why not let him or her accompany you to your doctor’s visit? Of course, it must be a fair exchange. You must be allowed to go to his or her doctor’s appointments. You may want to explain the benefits like having a second set of ears to hear all the facts, another mouth to ask questions you may not have thought to ask, plus an additional outing afterwards of course!
Make a day of it. You may want to convince your family member to make it an eventful day. Doctor’s appointments are often dreadful experiences because it’s all about tests, procedures, personal questions and possible lectures from doctors. If you are allowed to their doctor’s visits, you’ll plan a fun day afterwards. For instance, going to a movie, lunch or a shopping trip.
You know your family member. He or she is deeply independent. So no amount of lecturing will convince him or her to let you go to doctor’s appointments. That’s why you have to get a little creative. Your approach depends on your loved one. However, using any one of the above tips might help.