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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / Mom and Pop Quiz /  Editorial List

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Mom and Pop Quiz

What is the most important attribute you need to possess to help you as you care for your loved one? (And don’t say “being a loving person” – that is a given.)

Is it organization skills? A good answer. Once you find yourself being thrust through the looking glass of caregiving, the paperwork tsunami is seemingly unending; yet, that is not the answer I’m seeking.

How about being a quick study? Once again, terrific answer. Once through the above-mentioned looking glass, the new terms swirling around your head are as confusing as a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party: hospice, respite, GCM, infusion and the like. You are getting warm, but not yet there.

Ok, I’ll give you a hint. The skill that you most need to possess as a Fearless Caregiver is one that can be utilized when talking with insurance companies and medical professionals. It is the ability to ask questions and not rest until you receive clear and concise answers. (In the case of insurance companies, the question “Who’s your supervisor?” goes a long way.)

One place that this skill is best utilized is in the doctor’s office. We all have stories of having questions to ask the physician when we are waiting for him or her in the examining room with our loved one, only to find those questions and the will to ask them dissipate into thin air as the doctor walks through the door. A few hints: try limiting the questions to one or two that can’t be answered elsewhere, and call the office first to let them know your questions. As the doctor walks in, mention you might need a few minutes at the end of the session to ask the questions. And bring a small digital tape recorder so you don’t drive away wondering what it was that he or she just said. 

One other aspect about being a great questioner of the medical profession is that it does not have to be done in person. Many physicians have patient Web sites and even interact by email these days. 

In fact, I would like to offer you an opportunity to ask your question of three (yes, three) leading internal medicine physicians who will be joining us at the Palm Beach Gardens Fearless Caregiver Conference next week.  It would be wonderful if you could be there; then you could ask them in person. But, if you are not able to join us, feel free to use the link below to pose your (short-ish) question of the doctors. I will ask as many of your questions for you as time permits and report their answers back here in coming newsletters.

Congratulations, you all pass the quiz.

My questions for the doctors 

Gary Barg

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