When children visit their pediatrician, furniture is the right sized. There are lots of kid-friendly devices. Everything is geared toward making the experience more pleasurable. Many elderly people find it challenging to get around. Yet, most medical facilities have done little to make the visit a little easier. That needs to change.
One of my close friends has been taking her parents to their medical appointments. Here’s how she solved some of the elderly-unfriendly issues with a wheelchair and clothes.
- Getting in the door: Parking in some places is beyond ridiculous. Yet, it’s scary to drop someone off by themselves at the door when they are weak and unstable. Even if you leave your loved one in the car, you can never count on a wheelchair being available. A light-weight transportation wheelchair can solve this problem. If a doctor writes a prescription, insurance may cover the cost.
- Medical registrations: Pre-registration could be much better. Writing can be challenging for elderly people. So, why have multiple forms with the same questions? Completing these forms is just the beginning. You have to go from window to window to “sign in”. More papers to sign. It’s like a ferris wheel that stops for every chair, and you wind up back where you started. A wheel chair can save some of your loved one’s precious energy.
- Seeing the doctor: When mobility is challenging, walking to the back of the office for a weigh-in is tough. Worse yet, you have to retrace your steps to get back to the exam room. A wheelchair helps. Consolidating weigh-ins makes sense for most patients. It would be easy to have an exception for people with limited mobility. Simply add a small scale in the exam room.
- Medical tests: Medical professionals should consider how frail someone is before starting a test. My friend’s mother told the nurse that she was “woozy” after a test. By the time the nurse led her across the room, she was collapsing as her daughter shoved a wheelchair in place. Limited mobility patients should never be allowed to walk across the room after anesthesia or other invasive medical testing
- Dressing for tests: Frail, elderly people find undressing difficult and chilly. Patient Scrubs® are ideal for a variety of medical tests, lounging around the house or when someone is confined to bed. When the temperature requires extra clothing layers, slip on sweats over Patient Scrubs®. Even if you have to remove the sweats for medical treatment, you don’t have to strip to the bare skin. A huge win for frail people who are constantly chilled.
I hope these work-arounds ease medical appointments for you and your loved one. It’s never easy to watch your parents’ health decline, but it’s a part of life that most of us will encounter at some point.
Patient Scrubs® lady wishing the best to you and your family.