The difficulty with getting older and needing assistance is that there are no perfect solutions. At the point where we believe everything can be done perfectly we’re made out to be a liar. The reality is that when we get older and need assistance or services we must become more astute, more flexible and more tolerant because healthcare and associated systems are imperfect. Let’s start with medical offices. Consider yourself lucky if you receive 15 minutes of undivided attention from your physician. And this is after waiting for she or he for an hour in the waiting room because another patient or phone call took some of your time. If you came unprepared without a current list of medications and questions you waste precious minutes. And if you don’t understand what the doctor is asking you, more lost time ticks away. You find yourself ushered out the door without your questions answered or concerns addressed (remember it was you who came unprepared) and the doctor only has so much time. You didn’t bring a notepad and can’t even remember what was discussed. Welcome to medical visits of today. If you want to survive you must plan and prepare for your medical visit. Better yet, take a family member or advocate with you so that if you can’t remember your questions you have a backup plan by having another mouth and set of ears. It’s no wonder most older adults either don’t go see their doctors or are constantly going back and forth.

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