My elderly dad hasn’t seen his doctor in 3 years, what should we do?
Believe it or not, this is a rather common issue. Since an elderly person will have probably been in the hospital or is seeing specialists for heart care, kidney care, eye care, hearing care, etc, their prescriptions and therapies are handled by that doctor and they don’t feel the need to go see their Primary Care Physician. In some cases, their PCP has retired and now they don’t feel a connection, or a need to go see “that new guy!”
Here are some thoughts on seeing a PCP at least once per year, in addition to the specialists:
- Have a yearly physical to establish a baseline: Your PCP can get data from the specialists to create goals for your heart rate, cholesterol, weight, etc.
- Medication management: Your PCP can help weed out redundant medications or advise on medications that might be possibly stopped.
- Preventive care: Colonoscopy, Osteoporosis, Prostate, Depression screenings. Weight management. All those fun things we don’t want to talk about? Your PCP loves to talk about those things!