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My Mother's Keeper: The Eye Doctor Appointment

By Beverly Bernstein Joie, MS, CMC

(Page 3 of 3)

Tips for Caring

It is of the utmost importance that elderly parents are accompanied to their physician visits by an attentive third party every so often, on a regular basis. This person must listen with an objective, impartial ear to exactly what health issues are discussed. Understanding the complexities of chronic health conditions requires someone who knows how to ask the right questions. The issue is one of understanding the current health status of the individual, as well as following through with the appropriate course of action. Asking questions and following through can sometimes be the difference between life or death.

There are many reasons why our parents need help in this area. Sometimes itís an issue of deteriorating ability to understand whatís happening, brought on by memory problems or comprehension problems. It can also be related to the psychological challenge of accepting the implications of what is being said. Any of us would find it hard to ďhearĒ these things. Keep a record of your parentsí visits Ė what the doctor has said and recommended. If you cannot accompany your parents, ask someone else to do it, such as a family member or friend, or consider the services of a professional geriatric care manager. Itís amazing what you can learn.


Beverly Bernstein Joie holds a bachelorís degree from Antioch University in Psychology and a masterís degree from Villanova University in Counseling and Human Relations. She is a certified geriatric care manager (CMC). Ms. Joie writes, lectures, and holds workshops regularly about caregiving and issues related to aging. She is the current president of the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Association of Geriatric Care Management. She also serves on the public relations committee.

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