Effective senior care depends on accurate health information. Based on personal experience, I know that’s not always easy to come by.
My mother enjoyed remarkably good health through her 70s and into her early 80s. On those rare occasions when she did see a doctor, the visits, according to her, seldom produced information worth passing along. I lived in another state at the time so my view of my mother’s health was largely based on what she chose to tell me.
By the time my mother reached her mid-80s her progressive hearing loss had turned medical appointments into a source of anxiety and confusion. Followup with the doctor or physician’s assistant brought me some peace of mind, but it wasn’t the same as actually being there. Every time my mother asked for help with a health decision I wondered if I had the necessary information to make the right call. Talking to friends with loved one living in other states, I realized that this “second guessing” was a common problem.
When creating Care for Living we thought long and hard about how we could improve the situation. Our answer: client advocates. Available to accompany a client to medical appointments, advocates would be health professionals familiar with the client’s medical history. Armed with the right information they would be better able to ask all the right questions. And, in turn, pass along the answers to family members, whether they lived in town or across the country. If requested, the advocate role could go beyond doctor visits to include support during a hospital stay or the transition to assisted living or hospice.
With client advocates, family members would have a more accurate picture of their loved one’s health. So when called upon for advice, they could feel more confident in their decisions. The best senior care based on the best health information available. Mother would approve.