How to Maximize Your Time at the Doctor's Office

By Janell Balderamos, Care Navigation Team Care Navigator

Doctor visits can be daunting for both the patient and the Caregiver. Often our loved one needs more support as Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia progress. Your loved one may have multiple doctors and specialists they see consistently, and it’s essential to maximize your time with each of them. Here are a few steps to get the most out of your loved one’s appointments.

Write down your questions prior to the appointment

To ensure you get the most out of each visit, write down your questions before meeting with the doctor or specialist. Often, visits are limited to a few minutes, so it’s crucial to have your questions written down beforehand.

  • Be clear when describing changes and symptoms - Before any doctor or specialist visits, write down any changes and new symptoms you notice in your loved one. Having a list of changes and symptoms available for review with the doctor or specialist will help you stay on track during the visit.


  • Take notes during the visit - Bring a notepad or use your phone to take notes during the visit. Written notes will help you keep track of any issues discussed during the visit. You can revisit the notes later and add more information for personal reference and future appointments.


  • Allow your loved one to communicate their needs - If your loved one is able to communicate with the doctor, allow them to speak. You can use your notes and questions to guide them back to the main points of the visit. Allowing time for your loved one to talk while guiding the conversation reassures them that they are still (if possible) able to make decisions regarding their health.


  • Bring a list of any current and newly added medications, vitamins, and supplements - When your loved one has many specialists, it can be hard to keep track of all the new medications added to the list. It is crucial to bring a list of the current medications to ensure all of your loved one’s medical team members have the most recent information.


A Caregiver plays a vital role in the health and well-being of a person with Alzheimer’s Disease or Related Dementias. It’s more important than ever to have the necessary tools and resources to help you take care of your loved one and yourself.

Let us help you take advantage of these tips. VirtuALZ Members can work with their assigned Care Navigation Team to help them develop meaningful and productive questions for a doctor’s visit. We can support you even as you are working with your doctor.



Note: The VirtuALZ blog (FYI) is strictly a news and information website about Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias and life over 60. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The VirtuALZ Blog (FYI) is intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Alzheimer’s disease...