Fear of Going to the Doctor in Elderly People

One of the most common issues people of all ages might face is the fear of doctors and needles. On the other hand, older people tend to be more affected by it. In this post, we will attempt to explain the origins of doctor appointment anxiety, fear of medical tests, and fear of bad news from a doctor. We will also offer some remedies for your loved one to avoid this anxiety. We hope that this information will be helpful to you and your loved one in dealing with the fear of doctors UK.

Doctor Phobia What is it and How Does it Manifest Itself?

The phobia of going to the doctor is called iatrophobia. This disorder can manifest itself as a result of a bad experience after going to the doctor or for no apparent reason. But what is certain is that over the years, we humans have become more reluctant to accept advice and recommendations and less flexible when adopting new routines, even though these may be of benefit to us. 

This is the reason why older people refuse to go to the doctor. An attitude that notably complicates the implementation of treatment, the control of their health status and, ultimately, the guarantees of a good quality of life and that also tends to generate stress and anxiety in the elderly.

"I Don't Want to Go to The Doctor" What is the Reason for This Resistance?

Understanding why an elderly person is reluctant to go to the doctor certainly helps their families and caregivers find a way to solve this situation. Some of the reasons why the elderly are reluctant to go to the doctor include:

- Lack of motivation to adapt to new routines.

- Fear of medical tests, fear of regular check-ups and fear of bad news from doctor because they may face an unwanted diagnosis.

- Bad experiences with certain doctors or treatments.

- The vulnerability associated with these circumstances.

- Memory loss or inability to understand the situation.

Not wanting to go to the doctor is not always related to the fear of going to the doctor; other times, the cause is the feeling of being hypochondriac afraid to go to doctor, guilt or weakness when feeling a burden for the family.

When starting, we assume that these are not unjustified reactions and that, although they sometimes seem to be the result of the stubbornness of an obstinate person, deep down, they are completely understandable psychological and emotional reasons.

What to Do When an Elderly Person Does Not Want Help and is Afraid to Go to the Doctor?

An older person should never be forced to go to the doctor. That is not the solution. This also applies when the elderly person refuses the assistance of a caregiver when necessary. At Cuidum, we recommend some key guidelines. These 5 essential points to know what to do when an older person does not want help or refuses to go to the doctor will be very useful:

Assess the Situation Before Taking any Step

There is no justification for acting rashly in an attempt to persuade the ailing older person, much less for attempting to coerce them. It is essential that you do some preliminary research, make an effort to comprehend the factors that contribute to his fear of medical professionals, and locate the most opportune moment to commence an open, honest, and composed dialogue with him.

The Clearer, the More Effective

It is a common mistake to believe that it will be simpler to disentangle the person from their deeply held beliefs by taking a less direct approach when explaining or making an argument. However, the technique of "distraction" is not only ineffective, but it also tends to make the situation even more complicated. The clearer you can make yourself understood by providing straightforward and easy-to-follow explanations, the better.

Always Speak Positively

If they refuse to go to the doctor, don't let an authoritarian tone take over the conversation and be flexible without letting yourself be dominated. You will get better results in a relaxed environment. When your conversation with the older person is calm, it is easier for your interlocutor to receive the message you want to convey without interpreting it as an obligation. This helps the elderly learn how to stay calm at doctors office and overcome the fear of doctors and needles.

Be Patient

You need to have the ability to deal with constant negativity by practising optimism, thinking positively, and having the conviction that your elderly relative will eventually accept their situation and agree to face it as he should if you show them love, respect, and dialogue while you try to help them.

By following the guidelines we have discussed and making small progress, the sick older person's phobia of doctors will most likely be resolved in the most pleasant way for everyone. However, if the attitude of the person in your care does not progress favourably it may be necessary to consult a specialist to convince him of the risks involved in such a reluctant attitude when receiving care or treatment. By making our elders always feel part of the decisions made in favour of their well-being and happiness will help improve the situation and possibly make the fear of going to the doctor disappear.

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