How to Advocate for Your Senior’s Health

How to Advocate for Your Senior’s Health

As your seniors get older, communicating their needs becomes something that they may no longer be able to do on their own. 

Being an advocate for your senior’s healthcare needs means speaking up for them when times become difficult. Communicating on behalf of your older loved one is crucial to provide them with the best care possible.

Because this situation can become stressful and uncertain for all parties, we have curated an array of tips on how to best advocate for your senior’s healthcare needs.

The Importance of Advocating for Your Older Adult’s Well-being

Advocating for your senior’s healthcare often occurs during uncertain times that can typically cause stress and anxiety. Being able to remain calm, collected, and prepared for all scenarios is important in doing what is best for your older loved one.

While daily support is often needed to ensure your senior is provided with the best care possible, some healthcare situations arise that require decisions to be made under immense pressure.

In case of emergency, it is expected that you can effectively and efficiently advocate for your loved ones, especially if they are unable to.

How to Be an Effective Healthcare Advocate

Let’s take a look at how to be a great advocate for your senior.

Know all medical history

Suppose your loved one ends up in a hospital or doctor’s office and cannot communicate efficiently. In that case, it is important that you are there to provide all of the correct information. 

Knowing their information can be incredibly helpful in this stressful time. 

This information can include:

  • Past procedures
  • Medications, including dosages 
  • Allergies
  • Doctors’ contact information

Know their desired care

Though a difficult conversation to have, it is essential to discuss the desired care plan for your senior with them. 

This conversation can include topics regarding:

  • What to do if/when a surgery/procedure is needed
  • What to do if/when resuscitation is needed
  • What to do if something is life-threatening
  • What to do if something is non-life threatening

There is an official document that names the individual who makes informed decisions for a loved one in the medical world. This is referred to as a healthcare proxy

At the end of the day, this is all about your older loved one’s healthcare. The way to be the best advocate for their healthcare is knowing what they would do if able to communicate. 

Know who to contact

As you may be advocating for your senior’s health, you may not be the only one on their team. In certain cases, other individuals may have to approve medical decisions before they are done. 

Know who is part of your older loved one’s care team beforehand and their contact information. Have a list of emergency contacts handy in your wallet or notebook.

Having their contact information written down, preferably with all of the other medical information for your senior, is a great idea.

Be informed of great doctors and practices

If a new specialty doctor is needed, it is great to access resources, get referrals, or search for a highly rated doctor or practice.

This task may not be something that your older loved one can do, so it is important to be a good communicator, be willing to reach out to offices, and speak effectively for your senior.

Advocating with Accessible

Advocating can be stressful and put a lot of pressure on you. However, it is not something that you have to do alone. 

Our personal caregivers are here to help you and your loved ones receive the best care possible. If help with daily care in the home is something that interests you, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team to set up a personalized care plan for your senior.