Go To Search

Area Agency on Aging

Posted on: February 1, 2013

Your Mother's Medical Advocate

Of all the people that go to a doctor, a significant portion is represented by aged (80’s) women (fewer men survive into their 80’s than women). Selecting or keeping a physician for the elderly is a common experience for family and caregivers and must be done with fact-finding and discernment.

While a patient’s age may impact the logic of a DNR (do not resuscitate) order or a particular treatment protocol, or similar decisions, there is little reason to limit the quality of care, time and attention to clinical competence afforded the elderly compared to that of younger patients in need of medical care. Generally, insurance actuarial records reflect that the elderly are more fragile, less likely to have positive clinical outcomes from hospital stays and recover less rapidly than younger patients of similar morbidity. A higher proportion of senior patients are expected to have complications as compared to younger patients.

You can significantly improve the quality of medical care for your aging parent by being an involved advocate.

• Go to medical appointments with your aging parent.
• With patient consent, ask questions of the physician as to expectations of outcomes relative to therapies and other treatments completed and those proposed. If a treatment is not being considered, ask why it’s not appropriate for your parent.
• Follow up with the doctor regarding the results of diagnostic tests and ask what therapies (if any) may be appropriate.
• Ask guidance from family, friends and other trusted individuals who may have an opinion (based on experience) about a particular physician’s treatment philosophy regarding the elderly.

If you don’t get the detailed answers and dialog from your doctor that you expect or feel is appropriate, make this known to him or her. Evaluate the response you get (if any) based on your experience and instincts.

Some therapies and diagnostic tests are not appropriate in situations where the prognosis and clinical life expectancy dictate limited treatment protocols but the elderly are worthy of the practice of good medicine. Do your part to see that they get it. Be an advocate.

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Email

Other News in Area Agency on Aging

Falls Prevention Awareness Day

Posted on: September 17, 2014


Posted on: September 15, 2014

Positive Hospital Stay Outcomes

Posted on: September 15, 2014

Let's Book

Posted on: September 2, 2014


Posted on: July 29, 2014

Eating Healthy on a Budget

Posted on: July 14, 2014

Staying Cool

Posted on: July 7, 2014

Rehab Program of Westmoreland County

Posted on: July 10, 2014

Tips for Summer Safety

Posted on: June 12, 2014

Hydration for Health

Posted on: June 12, 2014

Creating Your Oral History

Posted on: February 3, 2014

Healthy Living and You

Posted on: January 28, 2014


Posted on: January 28, 2014

How tired is too tired?

Posted on: January 15, 2014


Posted on: August 26, 2013


Posted on: July 23, 2013

Safe Driving Tips for Seniors

Posted on: July 23, 2013

Diet for Arthritis

Posted on: July 16, 2013

Benefits of Seeing a Geriatrician

Posted on: June 24, 2013

Gardening Away Stress

Posted on: April 1, 2013

Haggle with your doctor?

Posted on: March 5, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

Posted on: February 11, 2013

Sleep Disturbances

Posted on: February 11, 2013

How to Prevent the Flu

Posted on: January 21, 2013

Solving Consumer Problems

Posted on: January 14, 2013

Westmoreland County Senior Centers

Posted on: December 24, 2012

Winter Transportation

Posted on: December 17, 2012

Heating Season Woes

Posted on: December 13, 2012