Tips for medical visits

There are simple ways you can make the most of medical visits with your loved one’s doctor1

Doctor and patient discussing Alzheimer's careRegular medical visits are an important part of Alzheimer’s care. You can help make the most of the time you have with the doctor by following some simple tips.

  • Schedule wisely – Plan appointments during the best time of day for the person with Alzheimer’s disease and, if possible, when the doctor’s office is the least crowded
  • Bring supplies – Bring snacks and water, and an activity the person with Alzheimer’s disease enjoys to do
  • Be prepared – Make a list of issues you’d like to discuss with the doctor and take notes during the appointment
  • Be specific – The doctor may have questions for you about the person with Alzheimer’s disease’s symptoms and behavior. For example, the doctor may ask about his or her mood, appetite and diet, and behavior. As the disease progresses you will be an important source of information for the doctor
  • Consider the future – Ask the doctor to discuss with you what to expect in the next year or two. You may ask about long-term care, nursing home placement, or palliative care (a type of healthcare that specializes in the relief of pain, symptoms, and stress of a serious illness). Knowing what to expect can help you prepare
  • Ask for referrals or recommendations – Ask the doctor if you need help. He or she can often direct you to community resources (such as meal services or respite care services)