masked senior man talking with health professional

It is important to ask questions when scheduling an elective medical procedure.

The COVID-19 pandemic put our society on pause, including, among many other activities, healthcare appointments and procedures. As a matter of fact, approximately half of all adults either canceled or put off routine health care and elective treatments ever since the coronavirus crisis began, leading physicians to become concerned about the consequences.

While we tentatively strive for a new normal, it’s worthwhile to get in touch with your health care provider about any procedures you may have been considering pre-pandemic, and to get answers to the following questions that will help keep medical procedures safe for seniors.

  1. Is the healthcare facility where I will be treated also treating COVID-19 patients, and are the same medical team members who will care for me also taking care of them? If so, what safeguards are in place to guarantee my safety?
  2. What are the facility’s cleaning/disinfecting policies?
  3. Will I need to be tested for COVID-19 prior to my treatment?
  4. Are medical personnel being tested for COVID-19? If that’s the case, how frequently?
  5. Do I need to wear a mask? Gloves? Any other personal protective equipment?
  6. Are there any items that are prohibited from being brought with me, such as clothing, books, a phone or laptop?
  7. May I complete paperwork ahead of time?
  8. Can I wait outside or in my vehicle until I am called in for my procedure?
  9. Can a relative or caregiver accompany me?
  10. Is follow-up provided in person, or am I able to make use of telehealth?

Additionally, there are post-procedure considerations to think through. Many individuals face concerns with regards to the chance for contracting COVID-19 after staying in the hospital, so speak with your medical professional about the need to self-monitor for symptoms, along with recommendations on any additional precautions you may want to take, such as avoiding contact with others for a certain amount of time, wearing gloves or a mask in the home when others are there, additional sanitizing measures to take, etc. The doctor may suggest taking your oxygen levels and temperature at home. If that’s the case, make sure to obtain a thermometer and pulse oximeter.

When you are comfortable with the answers you have obtained and with the assurance that the procedure is safe to schedule, connect with Atlanta Home Care Partners, provider of quality home care in Decatur and surrounding areas. Our transitional care services will help make sure that things are taken care of before, during, and after your procedure, including transportation, picking up prescription medications and groceries, helping you get situated back at home and monitoring for any changes in condition, and so much more. Contact us any time at (404) 228-0103.