I do not have a medical background and am challenged and anxious when helping my parents and their physicians decide on a course of treatment for them. They have their own home near me and I work full time.
One issue that was major was getting a system for dispensing their medications. My father in particular was in a lot of pain and would take too much medication or take it at the wrong time of day, etc. He has a hard time keeping track of what day it is and also the time of day as he takes a lot of naps.
Putting his medications in an all day dispenser with little compartments didn't work because he had access to a week's portion of medication and took it incorrectly.
The final solution that is working well is putting his medications (am & pm) in small Ziplock bags marked with the week day + am or pm and giving them to my mom. Mom keeps the days of the week straight very well. Every morning, she gives Dad his medications for the day and dad takes them accordingly. Getting his pain medication correct helped a lot also as he is feeling better.
The other challenge has been when the doctor orders a test and whether or not it is really necessary. Dad fell and had a lot of pain in his shoulder that turned out to be a bulging disk in his neck. The doctor ordered an x-ray right away and then a MRI 6 weeks later with followup at a pain management specialist.
The MRI was an ordeal as the machine is very loud and the facility was a bit of a drive to get to. Later I found out on the Internet that these bulges can heal themselves over time 3-6 months, etc.
Sure enough, the pain has lessened for him.
The next time, I will check the Internet first. I would have waited on the MRI, watched his pain level to see if it was lessening and had the MRI if necessary after 12 weeks or longer. We didn't see the pain managment specialist as he is out of town, a drive. We elected to have his primary care physician continue his pain management.
It's hard because you want to make sure that they get the care that they need.