A lot of us grow up assuming that the doctors we go see will be able to address any concerns that we may have when we go in for our physicals or check-ups. While these professionals have been through many years of education and training, it would be unfair to assume that they could know with utmost certainty every aspect of our bodies and minds. Especially with the age of specialization that we are in currently, it would be nearly impossible to find one professional to address every one of our needs.
As Senior Care Managers, we have regularly come across instances where we might have a helpful idea about a situation before a physician may think of it. UTIs are a great example because you may have this knowledge, but it’s not common knowledge that having a UTI (in either a man or a woman) can cause significant cognitive issues. It can cause sudden confusion (also known as delirium) in older people and those who struggle with dementia. If the person has a sudden and unexplained change in their behavior, such as increased confusion, agitation, or withdrawal, this may be because of a UTI. We have had several instances where we will be assisting a client that may be having these issues and the medical professionals may not think to test for a UTI. This is usually due to the fact that doctors just might not run into this kind of issue on a regular basis, therefore, it’s not the first thing they think of.
Another thing to make sure of is that your senior care manager knows how to search for professionals that are appropriate for whatever stage your aging loved one may be at in life. It’s important to make sure that any professional is experienced in geriatric care. Though you may have been with your current physician for a long time, if you are older, it may be a good idea to either add another physician or switch to one that has experience with aging adults. You can actually search for such a professional by looking for a “geriatric physician” or at least one that mentions they have experience in that area. Having this knowledge can be wonderful for possibly recognizing something early on that can be addressed. Geriatric Physicians will also have the knowledge of specialists that might be appropriate for certain situations. Don’t be scared to ask your current physician what their experience is and if they believe bringing on another professional to your “team” would be helpful and or appropriate.
If you are looking for a care manager that you can trust, contact Preferred Living Solutions at 919-554-0675 and let us help you make a plan and ease the way!
Written by: Michael Stickney, Certified Care Manager at Preferred Living Solutions.