You may want to accompany the person you care for at doctor’s appointments
to take notes. This helps to ensure that you both understand the
recommended medical course of action and gives you the chance to observe the
interaction between the two.
Following are some tips for improving communication with care recipient’s
1. Write down any symptoms or side effects that your care recipient may be
experiencing, along with other pertinent information (time of day, what they
2. Also write down any questions that you may want to ask, or any concerns
that you have. Regardless of how insignificant you may feel the doctor may
think it is, ask!
3. Ask about any possible side effects your care recipient may experience
while taking prescribed medications.
4. Ask if any new medication will interact negatively with current
5. Make sure you know the correct spelling of each medication your care
recipient is taking, the dosage and how many times a day they take it.
6. Ask for recommendations regarding taking a medication, i.e., should it be
take with food, at what times and what to do if a dose is missed.
7. Ask for storage instructions for each medication, i.e., in the
refrigerator, in a medicine cabinet, etc.
If your care recipient is limited in their physical abilities, ask the
doctor about the possibility of having physical, speech, or occupational
therapy. You should also ask about assistive devices that are available.*