Monday, November 4, 2013

Your Caregiver Can Be a Trusted Senior Advocate

When you hire a caregiver to take care of your loved one, you typically think about their daily needs with regards to physical and emotional well-being at home. They manage your loved one's care, which can include bathing, cooking, eating, running errands, light housework, and even medication management. What you may not realize, however, is that your caregiver can act as a senior advocate for your loved one outside of the home-especially at the doctor's office.Taking the Stress Out of a Doctor's VisitDoctor's visits for the elderly require pre-planning. If your loved one is suffering from physical or mental health issues, visiting the doctor can be even more challenging. By having your caregiver attend the office visit as a senior advocate, you can ensure that all health issues are remembered and discussed, and that all of the doctor's feedback and procedures are properly noted.A senior advocate can reduce the stress of visiting the doctor for both your loved one and yourself. Prior to the visit he or she can help with:• Making the appointment on your loved one's behalf
• Accompanying him or her to the appointment
• Requesting patient forms to be mailed or faxed ahead of time
• Assisting with filling out the patient forms and ensuring they're complete before the visitAddressing Important Medical ConcernsOne of the biggest advantages of having a senior advocate by your loved one's side is that your caregiver can address important medical concerns. Since the caregiver is with your loved one every day, he or she see issues as they arise and can make note of them. The caregiver can keep track of additional symptoms, side effects to medications, and questions for the doctor's visit. This list can help your loved one's physician ensure an accurate diagnosis and treatment.In addition, your caregiver and senior advocate can document the visit. This is a crucial step. After all, the doctor's diagnosis and treatment recommendations will go unheeded if they aren't meticulously recorded so they can be recalled and acted upon when they get home. Documenting the visit can ensure your caregiver understands your loved one's treatment plan, medications, and special care requirements.Hiring a Senior AdvocateThe most reputable caregivers have the necessary skills to be a senior advocate for your elderly loved one before, during, and after the doctor's appointment. Hiring a highly trained caregiver ensures that your loved one's physical, emotional, and mental health needs are being met each and every day.Caregivers can be an invaluable asset to your loved one's care because they observe his or her behavior and condition on a daily basis. They note symptoms and side effects you may not see unless you're constantly with him or her. They can also pick-up medications and ensure proper medication compliance, which is critical to your loved one's health and well-being.

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