They Need Your Help: How To Be An Effective Healthcare Advocate For Someone You Love

If you've recently become the caregiver to an aging loved one, you might not realize that the role requires you to take on another role. That being the role of healthcare advocate. Your loved one is going to need you to step up and take an active role in ensuring that they receive the medical care that they need. This role will become even more important as it becomes increasingly more difficult for them to speak up for themselves. It's not always easy to watch someone close to you go through the aging process. However, you can make things go more smoothly for them, by becoming a vocal advocate for their needs. If you're not sure how to be a successful health care advocate for your loved one, here are some steps that will help you help them.

Obtain a Medical Power-of-Attorney

When it comes to being an effective healthcare advocate, you need to be able to speak up, legally. Unfortunately, with new privacy regulations, that can be difficult to do. To make sure you're able to speak up for your loved one and be an effective advocate, it's important for you to obtain a medical power-of-attorney. This will ensure that you're allowed to attend all doctor's appointments, speak up during those appointments, and have access to medical records.

Keep a Running List of Their Medical Needs

It's not always easy to remember medical needs and concerns when you're sitting in the doctor's office. Unfortunately, that's a good way to overlook issues that need to be addressed. To make sure you're able to discuss those medical needs with the doctor, it's a good idea to keep a running list of those concerns. Each time you notice something that concerns you, write it down in a journal. If your loved one comes to you with concerns, be sure to write those down, as well. Bring the journal with you to each appointment so you can go over the entries with your loved ones' healthcare provider. Bringing the journal with you to the doctors office will also allow you to take notes during the appointment.

Know What Medications Your Loved One Is Taking

As your loved one's healthcare issues increase, so will the number of medications they take on a daily basis. To be an effective healthcare advocate, you need to know what those medications are, and what they're being used for. It's also important for you to understand the side effects of each medication, and how they may interact with each other. Knowing the medications they're taking will allow you to speak up about potential negative interactions.

Now that you're a caregiver for an aging loved one, use the tips provided here to become an effective healthcare advocate for them as well. Being there to speak up for them will ensure they receive the medical care they need. For more info about senior healthcare services, check out sites like