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This Talk Could Save a Life

January 16, 2020
Published in: Primary Care

Senior couple talking with serious look on their face

We have all had that person in our lives who resisted going to the doctor. We might brush it off at first, but what if a trip to the doctor could save his or her life? What if a conversation you have with your loved one was the difference between life and death? This task can be daunting, so we are giving you some pointers on how to approach having this conversation with your loved one.

Don't Guilt Them into It

It is easy to try and guilt trip our loved ones into going to the doctor. Make sure you avoid saying things like, "You're being selfish." Guilt is not a good motivator and will typically make your loved one feel defensive.

Don't Be Controlling

It is easy to become bossy and controlling when trying to convince the people we care about. It is okay to be firm and persistent, but make sure you are not using ultimatums or threats. In a lot of cases, your loved ones aren't necessarily resisting the help but the feeling of being controlled.

Close-up of senior couple holding handsRemind Them How Much They Mean to You

Often times when people are reminded how much they are cared for and loved, it can persuade them to do what is right. Using phrases like, "You know how much I care about you and how much our relationship means to me", can help them see how important this really is.

Use Nonjudgmental "I" Statements

When talking to your loved ones make sure you are using "I" statements instead of "you" statements. This helps your loved one not feel so judged. "I" statements can help you avoid coming across as critical and underscore that you're not judging your loved one.

Tell Them it's Okay to be Nervous

The doctor can be a scary place for some people, especially if they have had bad experiences in the past. Assure your loved one that it is totally normal to be nervous, let them know a lot of people are nervous before going to the doctor. If you are able to, offer to go with them if it would make them feel better.

Focus on the Good Things That Can Happen, Not the Bad

When talking to your loved one, it can be easy to say, "If you don't go to the doctor, you will have a heart attack." Make sure you highlight the good things that can come from them going to the doctor. Try saying something like, "If you go to the doctor, you're going to feel better and enjoy life more."

Offer to Help with Logistical Barriers

For someone who is already resistant to going to the doctor, logistical nuisances like finding a provider, working out insurance, and obtaining old medical records can seem like daunting tasks. Ask your loved one if they would like help with any of these tasks, but make sure you get the okay from them before helping.

Lead By Example

The best way to convince someone is by leading by example. Make sure you are keeping up with your health and getting your routine check-ups. Being able to show your loved one how this consistency has paid off for you will help them! Make sure you take care of yourself so you are not both depleted.

Resources at Augusta Health

From every day wellness to solving chronic conditions, regularly scheduled appointments and a strong relationship with your doctor protects your life. Take the first step by making an appointment with a primary care provider. Call us at (833) AHC-HLTH