End-Of-Life Questions Every Doctor Should Ask Patients Over 65-Years-Old

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doctor speaking with elderly patient

You always show up to appointments with a list of questions. It’s about time your doctors did the same.

A lot of people head into the doctor’s office with a list of questions they need answered immediately. Why does it hurt when I do this? Where did this thing come from? How is it possible I have the body fat index of an inflatable Sumo wrestler costume? However, it’s rare that your pre-visit prep involves considering the questions your doctor should have for you. Dr. Angelo Volandes, author of The Conversation: A Revolutionary Plan For End-Of-Life Care has crafted six questions that show your physician is interested in really getting to the heart of your possible end-of-life concerns, and not just trying to get you out the door:

  1. What kinds of things are important to you in your life?
  2. If you were not able to do the activities you enjoy, are there any medical treatments that would be too much?
  3. What fears do you have about getting sick or medical care?
  4. Do you have any spiritual, religious, philosophical, or cultural beliefs that guide you when you make medical decisions?
  5. If you had to choose between living longer or having a higher quality of life, which would you pick?
  6. How important is it for you to be at home when you die?

Each one of these questions addresses a very important end-of-life issue, and not just from a medical standpoint. There are a lot of personal, spiritual, and quality-of-life aspects that go hand-in-hand with possible treatments you may require one day. This can also motivate a patient to fill out an Advance Directive before it’s too late.

Obviously we think these are great questions to ask, but we want to know what you think:

  • How would you feel if your doctor asked you these questions?
  • Would it inspire confidence or make you feel uncomfortable?
  • Are there any other questions you wish your doctor would ask you?

Let us know your thoughts here

[via HealthLeadersMedia.com and AngeloVolandes.com]

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