Your dad won’t go to the doctor. He’s not alone. The CDC reports that almost 10 percent of men haven’t been to the doctor in two years. Just over 7 percent haven’t been in 2 to 5 years. More than 4 percent haven’t been in greater than 5 years. The fear is real so how do you get him to go?
Ask Why He’s Scared
The top five reasons for fear of the doctor are:
• Fear of learning something’s wrong
• Uncomfortable during personal exams
• Doesn’t like answering personal questions
• Scared to see weight gain
• Loss of privacy
It’s likely your dad doesn’t want to go because of one of those. Once you know, talk to his doctor. Doctors understand the fear and will work with your dad to make him as comfortable as possible.
He may be able to go see the doctor and stay in loose-fitting clothing rather than have to strip and sit in a tiny hospital gown. Instead of a rectal exam, a blood test may be a suitable alternative. Make sure he knows that the doctor cannot run a test without his consent.
Discuss His Importance to the Family
If your dad ignores a trip to the doctor and something is wrong, what will the impact on the family be? Would your mom be left alone and struggling financially? Would the grandchildren miss having a strong male role model in their lives?
Gentle reminders as to why your dad must stay as healthy as possible may be all it takes. Once he realizes how much he’s needed, he may be willing to go. At this point, make sure he knows his family will support him each step of the way.
Offer to Go With Him
Moral support may help your dad get past the fear. Offer to go with him. You don’t have to be in the room for personal questions or tests, but you can sit with him when the doctor gives him advice. Ask questions and keep track of the things your dad needs to do to improve his health if there are concerns.
Support Him at Home Too
What if he has a chronic health condition that affects his ability to complete daily tasks. What if he’s struggling to cook meals that match a recommended diet? What if he has medications and forgets to take them?
Homecare services help your dad with the daily activities that challenge him. He’ll have help with meals, transportation, appointment scheduling, housekeeping, and medication reminders. Discuss your dad’s changing needs and the benefits homecare can offer him.
For Homecare Services in Bartlett TN, please contact the caring staff at Personal Care Services MidSouth today!