Two Tiny Tips to Save the Sandwich Generation Big Headaches

by Kaye Swain

If your aging parents doctor requests an xray - be sure to see if they can access them through the computer - saving time is always good news for boomers and seniorsNew doctors, new forms, new work for the caregiver! And don't even bring up writer's cramp! Sound familiar? For many of us in the Sandwich Generation, caring for our aging parents, that's a very familiar "litany." And if any relocation is involved – on your elderly parents' part OR yours OR both – it can seem to multiply exponentially!

This year, we've had to add a few new doctors to our own family and I'm getting very fast at filling out those forms, that's for sure. But I did learn a couple of important time saving tips last week that I wanted to share with you. 

A couple of my senior mom's new doctors mailed us their registration forms ahead of time and asked us to bring them in. Because of other issues I was juggling, I waited til the last minute to fill one of them out. BIG MISTAKE! At 11 p.m. the night before her 10 a.m. appointment, I found out they wanted us to bring X-rays with us. OUCH! First I panicked! Then I thought about it logically. We are blessed to have doctors who coordinate well together and all, or most, seem to be using the same computer system, enabling them each to see each other's forms. So first thing in the morning, I called this new doctor, explained the situation, and asked if they, too, had access to her X-rays and other diagnostic tests. THEY DID! Whew! 

That saved me an extra trip to the primary doctor, a LOT of headaches and time, not to mention the extra stress. SO…

  1. DON'T follow my bad example and wait til the last minute to fill out those forms in case they require something from another doctor that you need to pick up ahead of time
  2. Even if you do have plenty of time available, FIRST call the requesting doctor BEFORE going out of your way to get those items to make sure they REALLY need them and aren't using older forms that haven't been updated.

Caring for elderly parents can include playing games interspersed with a wide variety of doctor appointmentsTwo simple little things that can save all of us in the Sandwich Generation time and frustration, leaving extra time for more enjoyable activities. Now isn't that GREAT news for all of us boomers and seniors caring for our aging parents, not to mention other family members. :) 

Kaye

P.S. Thank you so much for your comments. I enjoy them very much and read each one. I also love the grand ideas so many of you share that help and encourage other readers. Thank you.