How a Patient Advocate Can Help Your Elderly Loved One

Posted on: 1 May 2019

When your elderly loved one is having a difficult time making decisions for himself or herself, you may find it advantageous to hire someone who can act as a patient advocate. A patient advocate will help a patient through all the stages of receiving care, including finding doctors and deciding on the best treatments. 

The Role of an Advocate

A patient advocate allows your loved one to receive more from his or her doctor's visits. Doctors have a limited time to see a patient. They will assist in creating a plan so that your loved one can have the most successful encounter possible with his or her doctor. In some cases, you might even feel like your loved one's doctor is speaking a different language. With a patient advocate, you'll be better informed about what the doctor is attempting to communicate, since patient advocates can often break down confusing medical terminology into simple terms.

Understanding Medical Bills

A patient advocate can understand medical bills and can help the patient understand when there might have been a mistake. Hospitals and clinics can sometimes make mistakes, and a second pair of eyes might be needed to spot them so the patient doesn't have to pay more than he or she owes.

Finding an Advocate

You may find patient advocates in several settings. They often hang out and work for one family or an individual. Some may work for a hospital, nursing home facility, or a medical center. Advocates usually enroll in a specialized program that allows them to obtain a certificate in patient advocacy. Patient advocates are emotionally stable individuals who use can help your loved one through a difficult time in his or her life. 

Medical personnel want to help your loved one as best they can. However, they are often backlogged with the number of patients they need to help. By working with an advocate, you may bring your costs down in most cases, making them worth the money. You will not have to work as hard while also receiving a better outcome for your loved one. You'll find yourself under less stress because many of the confusing and difficult parts of your life will be handled by the patient advocate. 

Fortunately, your health insurance might offer this service. However, if they don't, you should consider contacting a hospital to determine if they can help you. Either way, your elderly loved one will be better off with professionals that can help them with their care.

For more information about different aspects of elderly care, reach out to a business like Polish Helping Hands.