It’s time to really stop and think. How much of your mom’s health history do you really know? As a child and into your teen years, you probably never stopped to think about your mom’s physical health. As you had your own kids, you were probably too busy to pay attention. You should make sure you know as much as you can, and here’s why…
For one woman, not asking questions never seemed that big a deal. After all, medical privacy is constantly pushed. Every time she went to the doctors, she was having to sign a HIPAA form. Years later, her mom was diagnosed with dementia. Suddenly, she had questions and needed her mom’s input, but her mom could no longer remember enough to answer.
Problems She Faced
One of the bigger issues this woman faced was her mom’s experiences with menopause. As she started reaching the early stages of menopause, she wanted to know what it was like for her mom and even grandmother, but her mom couldn’t answer. The entire experience was an unknown. She had to go by the average experience and question things that seemed outside the norm.
She found her doctor asking questions that she couldn’t answer. She knew her grandfather died in his 40s, but she had no idea why other than it was a form of cancer. Her doctor said she was the right age for certain screenings. Without knowing which cancer affected her grandfather, she wasn’t sure she wanted to pay the costly co-pay on a test that may not be necessary.
Are You Prepared to Hunt Down Doctors?
If your mom approved you to access her medical records, you may be able to get answers from a doctor. Not every doctor has the time to go back years to look things up. Plus, your mom may have switched doctors. If that’s true, it can be hard to get the answers you need.
Don’t Ignore Your Own Needs
There’s one more thing you need to think about as you and your mom both age. Your mom is going to need more help around the house. She’s likely to rely on you. Family caregivers often ignore their own health care needs to care for an elderly parent. Are you doing that?
Make sure you focus on your own health too. Senior care services help free up some time so that you can get to appointments. While you go to the doctor or dentist, a caregiver comes to spend time helping your mom. Call a senior care agency to find out more about the range of services.