Taking your elderly parent to the doctor can be quite the production. You have to gather all of their paperwork, get them safely into the vehicle, and then get them safely into the doctor's office. In some cases, this might even be dangerous -- there's a chance they might slip and fall on the pavement on a rainy day or that being exposed to the germs in the waiting room may result in an illness or infection. Thankfully, there is an alternative to taking your elderly parent to the doctor: finding a mobile doctor who makes house calls. Here's a closer look at this service and its benefits for people in your situation.
Where do you find a doctor who makes house calls?
As patients have begun to favor a "return to tradition," more medical practices have begun to offer this service. It's a nod to the older days when doctors always came to patients' homes. To find a doctor who offers house calls in your area, start by phoning your parent's insurance company. They can not only give you the names of doctors who offer house calls, but can also let you know how much this will cost you (or your parent).
What are the benefits of having your parent see a house call doctor?
Elderly patients' immune systems are often suppressed, so visiting the hospital -- where germs abound -- is likely to result in illness. If you're lucky, it will just be the common cold, but the flu is highly contagious. Although coming down with the flu may be no big deal to someone your age, it can be very dangerous for older patients. Then there are bacterial infections like MRSA. Having the doctor come to your parent will reduce your parent's risk of contracting these illnesses.
Having the doctor come to you also means you won't need to transport your parent to the office. Not only does this reduce the risk of slip-and-fall accidents, but it also frees up time in your day. You can spend this time doing enjoyable activities with your parent instead. Your relationship with your parent may remain healthier as a result.
Are there any drawbacks to this option?
Having the doctor come to you can be more expensive than a regular doctor's visit. Some insurance providers may not cover the extra cost. Also, many doctors who offer house calls do so through smartphone app-mediated services. Unless your elderly parent is very tech-savvy, this may mean you need to take the helm and make appointments for them through the app.