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HOW CAN I CONVINCE MY ELDERLY PARENT TO SEE AN EYE DOCTOR?

THERE ARE MANY ELDERLY AMERICANS WHO ARE RELUCTANT TO GET MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS, MANY OF THEM NOT JUSTIFIED BY THE FACTS.

How Can I Convince My Elderly Parent to See an Eye Doctor?

It’s their fears and emotions that may be getting in the way of obtaining needed eye care.

If you’re helping an elderly parent or family member and you know they need medical or eye care Houman Ahdieh, MD but they’re reluctant or unwilling to get it, here are some things to think about.

Is the person mentally competent? Whether because of some form of dementia, psychological issues or due to the side effects of medications, the person may be incapable of making health care decisions for themselves. If they are seeing physician inform him or her of the problem and try to get their help. Unless you’re the agent on a health care power of attorney or the person has signed a release, the doctor probably won’t tell you much because of privacy issues, but that doesn’t stop you from letting the doctor know what’s going on at home. If you genuinely think the person isn’t mentally competent you should consult with an attorney to discuss if being appointed a guardian (enabling you to make healthcare decisions) might be appropriate.

Is transportation the issue? If the person can’t drive themselves to appointments, are there other ways to get him or her there? Are there other trustworthy, reliable people who can provide transportation? Is public transportation, using a taxi, Uber or Lyft an option? The person may feel that because of physical problems they feel like they’re a burden on others because they need help with transportation. Let the person know you, and maybe others, are ready, willing and able to help. Make it clear helping them is not a burden.

Is money an issue? Do they have Medicare? If so, what are the co-payments? Can the person afford them? If not, might the person qualify for Medicaid? Can family members pitch in to help pay the bills? The person may have the money but fear spending it because they don’t want to outlive their savings. The cost of co-payments for eye procedures may not be as high as the person thinks. Call our office so we can talk about what should be expected costs, possibly paying over time and you can work out how costs could be paid.

Do they feel declining health is just something that comes with age and needs to be tolerated? They may have resigned themselves to bad eyesight, aching knees or incontinence because they’re old. You need to talk about how effective treatments can improve their life and that they don’t need to suffer.

Do they fear a procedure because they heard from someone who had a bad experience? The person may have a heard a horror story (true or not) from someone they know. Medical professionals take every precaution to prevent problems. You should emphasize millions of people have had procedures to help with their eyesight without any problems and they end up living much better, not worse, lives.

If we can help in any way with a loved who needs eye care, please call us at 610-437-4988 or contact us. We’ll be happy to answer any questions and address any concerns whether it’s about eye surgery, possible side effects or financial issues. Seeing well is an important part of living well and it’s something all of us, especially the elderly, should enjoy.

Houman Ahdieh, MD
Lehigh Valley Center for Sight
https://www.lvcenter4sight.com
eyedoc@lvcenter4sight.com