How to Pick a Primary Care Physician for Your Parent


woman talking with doctorWhen you choose a family doctor for your elderly parent, it’s important to choose a primary care provider who can give them the best care for their specific needs. Finding a good doctor to care for your parent is more than simply looking for a nearby family physician and hoping for the best.

Understanding how far in advance a family doctor’s office schedules appointments, if they offer emergency visits and if they will have full access to your parent’s medical history are all important considerations. Understanding what medical groups or networks a doctor belongs to can also affect your parent’s referrals and their insurance.

Account for Time

When you’re considering a primary care provider for your parent, it’s important to find a good balance between the time your aging parent’s healthcare needs demand, the time a doctor can spend with them and the time you need to spend helping your parent. Travel time, the typical length of appointments and how often a doctor can see your parent are all considerations you should account for when choosing a family doctor.

Finding the right doctor who can commit to your senior parent’s healthcare needs will ensure they receive quality care.

Health Network

Choosing a primary physician for your parent who is part of a healthcare network can make handling insurance for your parent much easier. Doctors who are affiliated with healthcare networks and medical centers are also often able to better refer your parent to specialists who are able to work more closely with your parent’s doctor and their insurance.

Care Philosophy

When you choose a primary care physician, take time to ask them about how they approach healthcare. Choose a doctor that takes a big picture view of your parent’s health rather than merely prescribing medication and making referrals. Look for a doctor who treats the whole person and takes the time to talk with you and your parent about your concerns.