This morning, on Your Caregiving Journey, Dr. Benjamin Mast joined me for a terrific discussion on when to end tests for your caree. Dr. Mast is an Associate Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences and Associate Clinical Professor in Geriatric Medicine at the University of Louisville (Kentucky). He’s also the author of Whole Person Dementia Assessment. You can listen to our show via the player at the bottom of the post. (You also can follow Dr. Mast on Twitter: @benjaminmast1)
Dr. Mast and I spoke about when your caree has had enough testing and, sometimes, treatment. In the beginning of your caregiving journey, you want as many tests as possible to ensure an appropriate diagnosis and treatment. At some point, too many tests cause more problems than adding solutions. How do you know when to stop? And, how do you stop what can feel like second nature?
As you consider more tests, Dr. Mast offered some questions to ask your caree’s physician and health care providers:
1. What will this test tell me?
2. What will the prep time be like for my caree?
3. What will the test be like for my caree?
4. How will my caree feel after the test?
Give yourself time to consider a decision about tests. Dr. Mast suggests the following as you face a decision:
1. Take time away from caregiving.
2. Review what you’ve already done.
3. Review what you already know.
4. Consider: How will this test change what you know and what you can do?
Your answers to these questions can help you decide how appropriate more tests are. You also can ask yourself this question: Is this test for me because I’m not ready to accept a diagnosis? Or, is this test for my caree because my gut is screaming that there’s something wrong?
I’d love to know when you’ve said enough to more tests for your caree. I’d also love to know if you wish you would have said “No” to more tests sooner than you did. Please share your experiences and insights in our comments section, below.