Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,716
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Getting the first appointment of the day might be a good idea. She can wait in the car until you are told it's time for her to go in an examining room. Be sure that the staff understands your concerns.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,517
Registered: ‎08-13-2011

Have your mother bring her own pen to the doctor's office. This was the advice my mother's oncologist gave her, never use a pen set out for the public. Some will prefer one with black ink. Think about all the folks who have used that pen before. Keeping your hands away from your mouth and eyes is also important. Even if you get the virus on your hands, unless you transfer them to your eyes, nose, or mouth, you won't get the flu. A through hand washing is your best defense, even over hand sanitizers. Hand sanitizers are only when you can't wash your hands, they don't replace a good through hand washing. Sanitizers can be hard on elderly skin that is frail.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,235
Registered: ‎12-05-2012
On 12/17/2014 happygal said:

Getting the first appointment of the day might be a good idea. She can wait in the car until you are told it's time for her to go in an examining room. Be sure that the staff understands your concerns.

Great advice about the first appointment of the day!

Honored Contributor
Posts: 14,124
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

If at all possible I stay away from doctor offices & hospitals during flu season. You could sit in your car with the heater on when you take your mom to the doctor in Jan. Just go inside & sign in if they do that & give them your cell # & tell them to call you when it's her turn that you will be waiting in the car & explain why. I did that once when I was really sick & was really hot & sweating & the doctors office had the heat on so I went outside to sit in the cold while I waited for my turn. The doctor told me when I saw him it was not a bit hot in there & I told him maybe not to you but I was roasting. I always make my appt. 1st one after they open back up after lunch so I'm in & out. Tell your mom not to touch anything once out of your car & she could wash her hands when you leave & wash again first thing when she gets home. If she can reschedule her appt. & go after flu season you could do that.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,094
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

I was concerned about the exact same thing this week. I had to go to the Dr Monday ,just to renew a drarn BP script. so unnessary ,she could have done it over the darn phone.

Luckly there were only 2 other people there ( I always go early) and they did not for once look sick.Usually there are people coughing and sneezing all over when I go and 2 days later I'm always sick .It is thurs and I'm doing good.fingers crossed.

Oh, don't touch the reading material, like I did, even knowing not to.....I read it is worse than the people in the room .

Wash your hands !!!

Honored Contributor
Posts: 14,242
Registered: ‎09-01-2010
For years now, I schedule my yearly appts in the months of February, May, August, and November, to try to avoid being in a doctors office during the heart of flu season. I do the same for my mother, and took her in mid November, which will hopefully take care of her needs until early March. My husband has COPD, and has at least 2 VA appts a month, so we keep a supply of masks for him to wear when we are there during flu season, we also use hand sanitizer when we have to touch anything inside the building, and as soon as we get inside our vehicle, we clean our hands with a large wet wipe. I taught my family to be heavy duty hand washers, and we empty all of our liquid soap bottles within 2 weeks due to frequent hand washing. Doctors offices are usually very accommodating as far as helping with keeping sick, or compromised patients out of a crowded waiting room. My doctors office will take the sick patients to a specific area in the back, and the older, or compromised patients, are taken to a seat near the supply room. I also NEVER allow my doctor to touch me without washing her hands, and I ask that she clean her stethoscope as well, since she uses the same one on all of her patients. I carry my own reading material, and never read the office magazines.
Honored Contributor
Posts: 36,325
Registered: ‎08-23-2010
On 12/17/2014 jordan2 said:

Hearing the great news that the flu shots we all took for this winter may not cover the strain that is out now, I am concerned for my elderly mother. I'm wondering how exactly the flu spreads and how easy is it to get it from someone else? I have to take my mother to the doctor in January and am afraid she could possibly get it from someone in the waiting room. At her age it could be very serious. Any info someone can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Book the first appointment in the morning ... or the first appointment after they return from lunch? {#emotions_dlg.confused1}

That way, there will be fewer people in the waiting room.

Super Contributor
Posts: 4,044
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

All great ideas here. I also read recently that the most germy things in the doctor's office are magazines! More than door knobs, pens or anything else.

Everyone picks up magazines, opens them, leafs through them and reads them, coughs all over them, sneezes on them, wipes their noses and touches the magazine pages etc. Then lays them down and another person comes along and picks them up and does the same.

New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎05-20-2010

Washing hands is important along with all the other great advice already given. But, I am often amazed when I see people "washing" their hands in public places. They do a little 5 second spritz and call it a day. You need to really rub your hands together vigorously under running water for at least 30 seconds to a minute. And DON'T touch the faucet with your clean hands afterwards! Use a clean paper towel to do that and also to open the door when you leave. I have been known to leave the water running if paper towels aren't provided and to open the door with the bottom of my t-shirt! I know, I am a fanatic. Even so, I am just now almost over the flu (yes it was the real flu) that I got two days before Thanksgiving. And, yes, I did get a flu shot this year. My last, by the way.

It is a good idea for your mother to wear a mask in the waiting room because flu and colds are also transmitted by invisible droplets when people cough and sneeze. They can travel a long way too, you don't have to be right next to the person. Good luck, and I hope you both stay well!

Valued Contributor
Posts: 544
Registered: ‎06-04-2010

I have a child who had special needs for the first couple of years. We could not risk her getting a respiratory infection. When she had to see the doc, we would wait outside in the car and the doc's nurse would call us when she was ready for us to come in. The first time we did it was at her insistence, but we continued to operate that way until my child was considered well enough to go to the doc the regular way. Since your mother is elderly (and inherently at higher risk), you might want to talk to the doc's nurse and see if they could do the same for you.