The holiday season brings families together, but for many who live far from an aging loved one, it can be both a joyous and concerning occasion. Family gatherings provide a wonderful opportunity to catch up with life events, while also observing how well your relative is managing their health and activities of daily living. You may notice that changes have occurred since your last visit.
It can be tough to manage your loved one’s medicines, appointments and health concerns from a distance. You may need a dependable, knowledgeable, and experienced person to step in when you can’t be there. A patient advocate may be just the support you need. A patient advocate can be those eyes and ears for you….boots on the ground. We can attend to aging relatives health issues and keep you well informed every step of the way.
A patient advocate is like having a “doctor in the family.” We assist individuals with their health or medical concerns on an ongoing or as-needed basis. A patient advocate can offer peace of mind when you are uneasy about how your loved one is managing alone.
If you notice any of the following scenarios during your holiday visit, additional senior resources may be necessary.
• Expired or discontinued prescriptions
• Duplicate or unorganized medicines
• Evidence of missed medical appointments
• Inability to give diagnosis or proposed treatment details for health care problems
• Unpaid bills, stacks of mail, excessive laundry
• Significant weight loss or gain
• Change in personal hygiene
• Forgetfulness and confusion
• Behind on health screenings, immunizations and other health appointments
• Mobility aides such as scooters, walkers, canes, or shower chair are no longer sufficient
• An unsteady gait or balance
• No neighbors or friends nearby to check on them
• Seems lonely, depressed or socially withdrawn
It’s not easy to watch family members decline in health. And it’s hard to accept that they may need assistance with parts of their lives they were once able to handle themselves.
If you feel a patient advocate could help someone in your life, or even yourself, please contact me. A patient advocate is not just for aging seniors. We help anyone – regardless of age – navigate a complicated healthcare system, and offer guidance and peace of mind during stressful situations. As a physician and patient advocate, my job is to ensure my clients get the help and support they need to live as safely, independently and healthily as possible.
Contact me today. I’ll handle the details so you or the person you love can focus on getting well.