The Dentist From a Child' Point of View

Preparing Your Elderly Relative for a Successful Dentist Trip

As your relative gets older, visiting the dentist becomes even more important, yet it can also become more challenging and anxiety-inducing. As a caregiver, you want to ensure that your elderly relative receives proper dental care, but you may also worry about their comfort and safety during the visit. Here are five things you can do to help prepare your elderly relative for their upcoming dentist trip.

Schedule the Appointment at a Convenient Time

When scheduling your elderly relative’s dental appointment, consider their daily routine and preferences. Avoid scheduling the appointment during a busy time or when they feel tired or agitated. You could also ask if they’d prefer a morning or afternoon appointment. When the time comes, plan to arrive early so that you can take some time to settle your loved one in and discuss any concerns with the dentist or dental hygienist.

Communicate with the Dentist

Your elderly relative’s dentist needs to know their medical history, medications, and any special requirements for their dental care. Discuss your loved one’s needs with the dentist before the appointment so that they can prepare beforehand. You can also ask the dental staff in advance about any accommodations they can offer, such as a wheelchair-accessible office or a quieter room for the appointment. Make sure to provide the dentist with a copy of your loved one’s health records if they’re not already on file.

Bring Comfort Items and Distractions

Your elderly relative may feel more at ease with familiar comforts from home. Bring items like a favorite blanket, book, magazine, or puzzle to occupy them during the appointment. Music, headphones, and other familiar sounds can also help your loved one relax. If your loved one uses a hearing aid, bring them and ask the dental staff to speak clearly and directly to them.

Plan for Transportation and Post-Appointment Care

You may need to hire a caregiver to provide transportation or accompany them during the appointment. After the appointment, your loved one may feel groggy or disoriented, so ensure they have everything they need, such as medications, documents, and a comfortable place to rest when they arrive home.

Follow-Up with Post-Appointment Care

After the appointment:

  1. Remind your loved one to follow their dentist’s instructions for oral care.
  2. Ensure they take any prescribed medications as directed and that they attend follow-up appointments, if necessary.
  3. If your loved one experiences discomfort or difficulty after the appointment, contact the dentist immediately for guidance.

Making dental appointments as a caregiver for an elderly relative can feel daunting, but with a little preparation and communication, you can help your loved one feel more comfortable and safe during the visit. Be mindful of their daily routine and preferences, communicate with the dental staff, bring comfort items and distractions, plan for transportation, and follow up with post-appointment care. With these tips in mind, you can ensure that your elderly relative receives excellent dental care while feeling supported and cared for.

Contact a local dental office to learn more, like Professional Dental Center.