Going to the doctor

doctor
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
doctor(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
ate, etc.)
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
medications.
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.*

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What is a Caregiver?

VA_Caregiver-Logo

One of the biggest obstacles in caregiving is recognizing that you are caregiving. Many family members think that what they are doing for their spouse, child, other relative or friend is nothing more than what family does for each other when there is a need. And that is true.

Running errands, picking up medications, driving to the doctor, arranging home care, helping to get dressed…regardless of the task, it is all caregiving. If you are helping someone with some of their activities of daily living, you are a Caregiver.

If you are caring for a Veteran, you might be eligible to participate in the Family Caregivers Program. A Primary Family Caregiver stipend is monetary compensation paid to a Primary Family Caregiver for providing personal care services to an eligible Veteran enrolled in the Caregiver Program. The stipend is not intended to replace career earnings, and receipt of the stipend payments does not create an employment relationship between VA and the Primary Family Caregiver.*

See VA fact sheet 11-04 for more details http://www.va.gov/PURCHASEDCARE/docs/pubfiles/factsheets/FactSheet_11-04.pdf

Also see the VA Caregiver Support site at http://www.caregiver.va.gov/