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If you have a loved one living with wet macular degeneration, you understand that navigating treatment can be challenging. Accompanying them to doctor’s appointments can provide comfort and security. Everyone responds to help differently, so keep their best interests in mind and have a conversation ahead of the appointment about how you can best support them.

Below are a few considerations and tips for supporting your loved one with wet macular degeneration at ophthalmologist appointments.

Compile questions ahead of the appointment.

Between appointments, try to keep a list of the questions to bring to the next appointment. Writing down non-urgent questions that you or your loved one come across during daily life will help your loved one remember what to ask the ophtalmologist. Click here to see some common questions. Of course, for any urgent questions, speak with a doctor immediately.

Support your loved one as the appointment gets closer.

Some hesitancy or worry ahead of a doctor’s appointment is common. It’s important to understand why your loved one is concerned, so you can best support them. For example, worry about transportation to an appointment is different than fear around getting an injection for treatment.

Ask for clarity during the appointment.

If a doctor says something that confuses you, chances are your loved one may not understand either. Sometimes repeating what you understood back to the doctor can help them recognize the gaps in your understanding. This way,  they can provide more information or explain something in a new way. It may also help to ask the doctor to explain technical information or test results in context of what it means for your loved one’s vision and treatment plan.

Smiling female doctor sitting on stool talking to male patient and smiling female caregiver in doctor’s office
Stock photo. Posed by model.

Take notes for future reference. 

Consider using the drive home or a phone call the next day to review key points. These may include timing of the next appointment, what to expect from the treatment and side effects to be aware of. Most importantly, remember to ask your loved one how they felt about the appointment during this conversation.

Remind your loved one that they are not alone, but recognize their independence.

Let them know you recognize that appointments can be stressful and that you’re there for them during and after the appointment, but be sure to remember that they are an independent adult and may want to do some things alone. You want to make them feel supported, but not like they are incapable.

Make sure their concerns are heard.

If a loved one seems hesitant to ask the doctor a question or uncomfortable with part of the treatment, speak up. A major part of a caregiver’s role at the doctor’s appointment is to be their advocate. Wet macular degeneration treatment may be new to them, so let the doctor know if you think your loved one needs more information or reassurance. They will be the one most affected by treatment, so their opinions should be taken into account.

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