Resource Guide for Family Caregivers
Overcoming common difficulties with health care providers

Partnership

Health care providers are often viewed as the trusted, unquestioned authority. However, it is important to realize also that you have important information to contribute about the care receiver and indeed, depending on how much time you spend with him/her, you may be the expert observer of his/her body.

Words

Technical words may be used accidentally or may be used deliberately. If you don’t know the meaning of a word, or aren’t sure, ask.

Time

At the time that you book your appointment, tell the medical office assistant what the issues are, so that the appropriate amount of time for the appointment can be booked. (For example, counselling sessions are allotted more time than are visits for a specific health concern.)

Hot topics

Some topics are especially uncomfortable to discuss, such as feelings, costs or getting a second opinion. It may be helpful to remember that a discussion can be a sharing of concerns rather than just a question and answer session.

Set an agenda

You will save time; you won’t forget key points; you won’t be distracted; you will feel better about the accomplishment of your task; and your mind will be open to what comes next if you are not trying to remember what else you wanted to talk about.

Effective teamwork requires mutual understanding of the roles and responsibilities of each member of the team.