Every year my parents get an annual physical—I’m thankful they do that. However, all my parents remember is that they “passed” their physicals. I finally realized they don’t look at these as I do. Instead, my parents view these as appointments to confirm they don’t have any life-threatening illness—“You won’t die this year.”
The differing view of medical care and the doctor’s role is a huge generational gap between me (a baby boomer) and my parents. When I don’t feel good or sense a medical issue is getting worse, I go see a doctor. I will tell the doctor exactly what is happening and hope they have a suggestion on how to address it. If that doctor doesn’t explain or help me resolve the issue, I will go find another doctor if the problem continues.
My parents, on the other hand, assume that a doctor will call them and follow-up if they have something that needs to be addressed. When I’ve gone to the doctor with both parents in different situations, when asked, they will say they are not having issues with their memory. Do they not know or do they believe admitting memory issues will only result in the loss of their current lifestyle?
Since we can’t address their memories, we have worked to put support in place to help them keep their current lifestyle. However, it would be much easier if we had a clear and shared understanding of both my parents’ health. Limited.