Waiting for a Doc or for Anything Else: Possible Things to Do

Waiting for an appointment in a medical office is a pain in itself and not just senior parents. All of us hate sitting around, inactivity enforced, while we wait for someone to help us. If I don’t plan ahead, bringing something to do so I can use the time, I gently chide myself, because it’s a given that people wait at certain appointments.

Over at SeniorHomes.com blog, the post 15 Things to Do While Waiting in a Doctor’s Office by Shelley Webb R.N., has good suggestions that can make productive use of waiting time — just the right tone for the start of a new year. While I find that the seniors in my life tend to be more impatient than I do, anyone can make use of these suggestions no matter where the waiting occurs. (The other day I sat at the bank for over 20 minutes.)

Below are my three favorites from the list, things that I often put off, so working on them when need to wait in one place for more than a few minutes is an intriguing idea. I’ve added an editorial comment or two and a suggestion at the end.

  1. Working on thank you notes or other letters and cards.
  2. Bringing a book, newspaper, Kindle or iPad. (Note: An iPad or other listening device enables parents to listen to radio programs, concerts, or other interest media.)
  3. Needlework — knitting, crocheting, quilting. Also, in my house LOTS of buttons are always waiting to be reattached.

Now I just need to remember to bring these things along!

N.B. A great project for caregivers, an assisted living community, senior center, or any other place that transports seniors, would be to design a
“What to Do When You Wait” bookmark with the suggestions, and circulate it widely so people can pick up multiple copies. The suggestions can respectfully remind community members about potential waiting times and encourage people to plan ahead, before any agitation arises.

2 thoughts on “Waiting for a Doc or for Anything Else: Possible Things to Do

  1. As the author of the above article, I just wanted to thank you for sharing it with your readers and for listing your 3 favorites.

    I also wanted to add that if any of your readers happen to have an iPad and a parent with dementia or Alzheimer’s, there are lots of great brain stimulating, easy-to-do “apps” that can help pass the time for them, as well.

    Thanks again and best wishes,

    Shelley Webb R.N.
    The Intentional Caregiver

  2. You are correct about advance planning for trips to offices of doctors, attorneys and other professionals who make use of “waiting rooms!” I have practiced bringing reading material, pad and ball point pen along whether I am heading for the above, to restaurants or on car trips of any distance. Thus I am never bored or impatient, unless interrupted by the professional for the appointment so that I can’t finish whatever reading I’m doing.

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