- In gesprek met ouderen
- Huisarts en Wetenschap
- Volume | Issue number
- 55 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
Consultations with elderly patients require special skills, if only because they more often have chronic illnesses and complex and emotionally charged diseases such as cancer. It is perhaps not surprising that particularly elderly patients have difficulty taking in all the information and advice they receive about the diagnosis and treatment. This article highlights a number of age-related factors that can have a role in this, and provides practical advice on how to make a consultation with an elderly patient more patient-oriented and more efficient. Elderly patients often have the wrong idea about their disease and frequently do not understand or remember the information they receive because of sensory, functional, or cognitive limitations. It is important to bear this in mind during the consultation, to provide information in a clear, structured manner, and to ensure that different topics are linked to each other. At the end of the consultation, it might be an idea to ask patients to repeat the most important information. When seeing elderly patients, it is particularly important to be alert to specific worries, questions, and other signals, and to raise these with the patient.
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