Hebrew SeniorLife created the word ReAge to reflect the breadth and depth of services we offer: providing world-class health care; building innovative senior communities; funding groundbreaking research; and teaching future generations of geriatricians.

ReAge, a combination of “redefine” and “aging,” means to question everything about the aging process. Through ReAging, we are challenging conventions in order to create and implement new standard-of-care approaches that will positively impact the lives of older adults.

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Finding the best doctor for my elderly parents

You and Your Aging Parents

Jennifer Rhodes-Kropf, M.D.'s picture
Finding the best doctor for my elderly parents
Finding the best doctor for my elderly parents

In the fall of 2012, Hebrew SeniorLife gathered together geriatric thought-leaders, researchers and physicians for our inaugural "You and Your Aging Parents" program, an important discussion about the steps one should take to help aging parents as they make decisions regarding health and well-being. Overwhelmingly positive response indicates the need for this information and Hebrew SeniorLife continues to offer this program. Check our events listing for upcoming events. 

In addition, we published expert advice from the first program in an ebook, You and Your Aging Parents,” which Hebrew SeniorLife is offering as a free downloadable pdf. The discussion also inspired our “You and Your Aging Parents” blog series, a series that includes this blog post and covers the various issues and concerns you may encounter as you and your parent/s continue on the journey of aging.

How do I choose the right doctor for my parent?

There are numerous important elements to consider when selecting a physician for your aging loved ones. Evaluating the following criteria will help determine which doctor is best suited to care for your parent.

Experience – Review the physician’s education and training and ensure his/her board certifications are still current. You can find this information online or by asking the physician or their office’s receptionist directly.

• Personality and empathy – Before committing to a physician, schedule a brief 15-minute interview to help determine if his/her disposition and medical philosophy is the right fit with your parents.

Hospital affiliation – Confirm the doctor is affiliated with your parent’s preferred hospital and that the hospital is conveniently located.

•Availability – Find out the average wait time to see the doctor, if the practice offers same-day urgent appointments and if the doctor or his/her colleagues are available for calls after hours.  In addition, determine who the doctor of record will be if your parent is admitted to the hospital and what the system of communication will be with the hospital physician on admission, during hospitalization and then on discharge from the hospital.

Insurance – Check to ensure the practice accepts your parent’s medical insurance and, if not, find out if it is possible for your loved one to change medical plans.

Office – Look for a doctor whose office staff is friendly and organized. Offices that use electronic outpatient records and electronic prescribing are also preferable.

To download your copy of our “You and Your Aging Parent” ebook, visit our website, www.agingredefined.org.

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Geriatrician

Dr. Rhodes-Kropf, is a staff geriatrician at HRC. She received her medical degree from the University of North Carolina and completed her internal medicine internship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and her residency in internal medicine at Cornell University/New York Presbyterian Medical Center. Dr. Rhodes-Kropf, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School, completed a geriatrics fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital.

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