As a leading provider of senior care in Albuquerque, we know that there may be times when it is necessary to step in and serve as an advocate for your loved one’s best interests. Often, the need for advocacy arises when a patient experiences an inability to communicate their needs in the face of an issue that impacts their health. If you are aware of a need to serve as a liaison between your loved one and their health providers, then here is what you should know about becoming a patient advocate.
Know the Patient’s Rights
Advocating may take place across a broad range of health care areas that may include dealing with the patient’s insurance, pharmacists and hospitals. Before entering into any type of communication, be sure to understand the patient’s rights regarding the current situation. For example, if you feel that an insurance company is refusing to cover a necessary treatment, then you will want to review the patient’s insurance policy.
Secure the Appropriate Legal Documents
Today, patients are protected by confidentiality policies in the majority of health care facilities. Therefore, it may be necessary to have a release of information contract filled out and signed by the patient that can be placed with each appropriate medical facility. In cases where your loved one is mentally or physically incapacitated, it may also be helpful to have a power of attorney for healthcare in place.
Practice Effective Communication
When you are advocating for a loved one, it is easy to let your emotions take over; however, it is important to remember that polite and firm communication is the best way to get what your loved one needs. Make sure to work through the proper chain of command when dealing with hospitals and insurance companies. Additionally, it may be necessary to document your efforts by sending certified letters regarding serious concerns.
Remember to Take Regular Breaks
Serving as your loved one’s advocate means frequent visits to their medical appointments, meetings and long hours spent overseeing their financial and health accounts which can lead to stress. Be sure to take regular breaks and consider having back up support that can enable you to enjoy a few hours of respite on a regular basis. Whether you look to friends, family or a part-time caregiver in Albuquerque, their assistance will leave you refreshed and ready to advocate for your loved one’s care whenever the need arises.
For more information about caring for a loved one, contact Home Care Assistance of Albuquerque. We provide reliable hourly and live-in care for seniors, allowing them the opportunity to age in the comfort of home. Request free information by calling a friendly Care Manager at 505-798-0800 today – we look forward to hearing from you.