Female doctor recommendations for 60 yr. old woman in East Bay, CA with a host of neglected medical issues.
August 28, 2012 11:52 AM   Subscribe

Female doctor recommendations for 60 yr. old woman in East Bay, CA with a host of neglected medical issues.

My 62-year old mother is not proactive about her medical care and has a number of physical health issues that have gone unaddressed for nearly ten years. Her current GP sounds like he is not listening to her, patronizes her, and just isn't working out.

Her health issues have rendered her nearly disabled and reclusive, so despite living nearly 1800 miles away, I'm trying to help get her some overdue care. I think that a female GP who will ask the right questions after seeing her and refer her to appropriate specialists would be ideal.

I'm not sure if my mother is suspicious of doctors on the whole, or is afraid to find out what is actually wrong with her, thus rendering her paralyzed in the face of improving her health. NB: She has asked for my help in this search.

IANAD, but having watched my mother's health deteriorate for the past decade, I think she could benefit from a consultation with a rheumatologist and a neurologist. However, she needs to start with the GP for the referral.

Does anyone have a recommendation for an East Bay (Walnut Creek, Concord, Vallejo, Benicia, etc.) GP who is experienced with older female patients, who will take time to ask about symptoms and gently elicit information to help guide referral to specialists? I searched Berkeley Parents Network but nothing stood out.

Thanks, MeFi.
posted by thenewbrunette to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What insurance, and are you limited to Walnut Creek etc. or would you consider someone further south or west, i.e. Alameda County?
posted by expialidocious at 12:38 PM on August 28, 2012

Response by poster: Blue Cross/Blue Shield is the insurer, and Alameda County would work. Thanks!
posted by thenewbrunette at 12:49 PM on August 28, 2012

Blue Cross & Blue Shield are two separate companies in California, so it's likely one or the other?

Walnut Creek is the home of Rossmoor, which is the home of 20,000 seniors. There are many, many doctors in the area that cater to an elderly clientele. I would search for Rossmoor message boards or the like, or maybe just call them up and see if they have have suggestions, regardless of whether that's where your mother lives.
posted by brainmouse at 1:32 PM on August 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm assuming the doctor needn't be female as well?

If so, I recommend Dr. Alph Wise in Walnut Creek. Very compassionate, a great listener. He has a female colleague, but I don't have any experience with her. He takes Blue Shield, and is a quick taxi ride/bus ride from Walnut Creek BART.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 3:47 PM on August 28, 2012

Best answer: If you know what your mothers complaints are, and you are 1800 miles away for the first appointments, tell your mom you're going to write up an introduction to the doctor for her. Lay it out in simple list form, or overlay clip art on an image of the body (bubble next to head with text for head issues, shoulder for shoulder pain, etc, etc.

Give your mom a list of talking points, concerns, questions. She may need help in being a "good patient", and notes will help her remember to address things (I do this myself).

If possible, find a doctor who is also a D.O. I've had better luck with those, generally.
posted by tilde at 5:40 PM on August 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

And fax the introduction directly to the doctor's office! So mom doesn't forget it or "forget" it out of embarrassment.
posted by tilde at 7:26 PM on August 28, 2012

Response by poster: Tilde, this is very constructive and helpful--thank you!

Potsmokinghippieoverlord, thank you. Per mom's request, she'd like to see a woman. I'll check out Dr. Wise and his colleague.
posted by thenewbrunette at 10:12 AM on August 29, 2012

I would also look for an internist specializing in geriatric care. You need someone who is going to treat her with respect and understand the psychological needs and challenges of senior care. My parents found one and I've never heard anything patronizing out of him. I suspect it's because he knows how to talk/treat older people.

I would also look into getting her in home care. I'm at this crossroads too with my father after my mom died in April. He totally is not taking care of himself. Even if it's for 1-2 hours daily. This way not only do they get the ensurance of care but some company. Just note, that the place I called, they charge $21.50 and while high (I guess) I like the peace of mind they have extensive background checks and fingerprints. That alone is worth the money.

Good luck and sorry you are going through this. Seeing our parents age is just horrible.
posted by stormpooper at 7:38 AM on August 31, 2012

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