Learn How To Have Good Relationships With Health Professionals

Having good relationships with health professionals benefit both older adults and the people who are helping them.

A good relationship means that health professionals:

  • Pay attention to the questions and concerns of the older adult and their helpers

  • Give the older adult and their helpers all the information and detail they ask for

  • Use languages the older adult and their helpers can understand, either avoiding or explaining technical terms

  • Speak to the older adult and their helpers as intelligent adults, avoiding overly simple or baby-like talk

  • Treat the older adult and their helpers as important partners in the older adult's healthcare

  • Give the older adult's helpers the information and guidance they need

  • Understand that some health issues and tasks can be upsetting for the older adult and their helpers

Steps that can improve relationships with health professionals include:

  • Asking for recommendations from family and friends, when choosing new health professionals

  • Sharing concerns and preferences with health professionals, such as needing more information or explaining beliefs or practices that affect treatment decisions

  • Being respectful and positive when giving health professionals feedback, and focusing on the facts of what happened rather than emotions

  • Rethinking who does to appointments, especially if the older adult likes a health professional but the family member who usually goes to the appointments with them doesn't