While seemingly similar, caring for loved ones as they age and being their health care advocate are very different roles. We all want our family members and loved ones to receive compassionate, exemplary care in their final years.
Becoming their health care advocate, however, involves actively accepting three key abilities: communicate, question, and facilitate.
As a close friend or family member, you’re likely keenly aware of your loved one’s typical personality. Communicating discerning behavior changes alerts the medical team and staff of possible prescription reactions or new symptoms. Likewise, when several medical professionals are involved in care, it’s important to keep detailed notes on appointments, treatments, tests, administered medications, and insurance coverage or bills.
Medical diagnoses and treatment plans can feel overwhelming and confusing – especially when emotions are involved. Patients may be hesitant to question a medical professional’s opinion or plan, or they may get lost in technical jargon. As a health care advocate, it’s important to actively ask questions and take notes during appointments to avoid confusion, understand or question procedures, and clarify unfamiliar terminology.
Essentially, the health care advocate becomes the voice of loved ones at a time they feel most vulnerable. It’s the advocate’s role to ensure wishes are met whether it’s maintaining independence, receiving care in the comfort and familiarity of home, or treatment plan options.
Although these conversations may be difficult, maintaining open lines of communication between loved ones and medical personnel reduces stress and confusion. Instead of hoping our loved ones are receiving the compassionate and essential care they deserve, advocating for them empowers you to ensure their wishes are met.
Understandably, even as a strong advocate, the process can be intimidating.
Community Care of the Northeast offers a gentle, guiding hand to help with your loved ones, seniors, and adults with disabilities needs, as well as yours, from transportation services to in-home help and training, to caregiver support. For over thirty years, we’ve been committed to compassionate care, ensuring that you never feel alone.
Find out how Community Care of the Northeast can help you and your loved ones or call 215.335.4416 for more information.