8 Tips for Advocating for Older Loved Ones

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Oftentimes, family members will need to serve as advocates for older loved ones when dealing with health care professionals. Without you to advocate for him or her, your loved ones needs could be forgotten or not considered when decisions about health care need to be made. Here are some tips to help you advocate for your loved one. 

  1. Speak Up Respectfully. Do not be afraid to speak up about the quality of care that your loved one is receiving. When you do talk to care providers, do so respectfully without personally attacking them to get the best response. 
  2. Choose Your Battles Wisely. Every issue does not have to be a battle. When you want to approach care providers, try to do so on issues that are essential and not minute matters that ultimately are not important.
  3. Attend All Care Plan Meetings. Your loved one's care providers will occasionally schedule meetings to discuss treatment options. It is imperative that you attend those meetings so that you can voice concerns you have.
  4. Know the Care Providers. You should be familiar with everyone who is providing care to your loved one. Schedule a meeting with providers you have not met before to help establish a relationship.
  5. Discuss End-of-life Choices. Inform providers what end-of-life measures your loved one wants to follow. This helps ensure your loved one's wishes are respected and that there is no confusion about the care needed.
  6. Know the Complaints Procedure. In the event that you are displeased with care providers, you need to know the path to file a complaint. For instance, you could contact the ombudsman of an assisted living facility to complain about care.
  7. Keep Family Informed. In the event that you are unable to continue to serve as the advocate for your loved one, another family member will need to step up. It is important that you choose a person and keep him or her up-to-date on your loved one's health.
  8. Join a Support Group. Advocating for your loved one can be an emotionally draining experience. Talking to others in the same position can help give you the strength needed to continue. 

Even if you feel that your loved one is getting the best care possible, it is important that you and your family stay involved in health care decisions. By serving as an advocate, you can be sure that the good care continues and that your loved one's wishes are respected. For more information, contact ComForcare Home Care - Rochester NY