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My father is 93 years old and lives in an assisted care facility. His mind is still very sharp but his body is failing him. He has had diabetes for 20 years and is treated with insulin shots 3 times a day. He also has a very bad knee which makes it hard for him to walk, so he uses a walker. He wants knee replacement surgery, but no doctor will operate on him at that age, especially with his health conditions (he also takes heart medication). My question is how often do we (his adult children) take him to the doctor? every time he has a scheduled doctor's appointment, they check his blood work and nothing has changed, so they send him home with another scheduled doctor's appointment in 3-6 months. Is this necessary? It seems to me that he would be fine in having annual doctor's appointments rather than appointments every 3-6 months.

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doc is monitoring the function of his various organs. as he declines the visits will become more frequent. we started at 90 days and are now seeing doc each 6 weeks.
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I have taken parents and MIL to doctor's appointments and it can be difficult to make the trip. A doctor's visit every 3 to 6 months is appropriate for someone using insulin. If his lab work is stable stretching it out to every 6 months would seem feasible. Blood work for Warfarin needs to be done more frequently than blood tests that monitor diabetes. INR testing does not require a face to face visit with a doctor for each test.
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Can you have someone from the facility where he lives give him the blood work that the doctor does and fax/send it to the doc, to save your dad the trip? My mom takes Warfarin daily and gets her blood levels (INR) checked monthly. I used to take her to the doc for that until I found out the village nurse in the town she lives in comes to her IL facility and does the test for $7. They fax the results to the doc and he calls me with any changes to her dosage. Look for other ways to get the tests done at his facility.

I only take my mom to her primary care physician when she's having issues. Your dad's insulin is a bit trickier, but it sounds like he's stable. Does he check his own sugar, or does someone do that for him on a daily basis? If not, get a meter and check it yourselves.
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