Senior Safety: Who Needs a Health AdvocateBy Jill Poser October 4, 2012 | 9:00 AMPosted in: Senior Safety, Home
began working with seniors back in 2008 when I chose to become certified as an
‘Aging-in-Place’ Specialist. I knew this
was what I wanted as soon as I read about this certification. The theory was great. Help people remain in
their homes safely and independently as long as possible. After all, most people want to remain in
their homes and view it as staying in control of their own lives. As Dorothy so
aptly said, “There’s no place like home!” Only, wanting to stay at home is just
a piece in the puzzle. It does not
account for issues that may crop up along the way; increased health issues for
one spouse, the other spouse serving as caregiver, the caregiver no longer able
to care for the loved one, death of a spouse, homes that may not be senior-friendly,
changing finances and children far away. Sounds overwhelming?
truly can be.
pervasive issue that I recognize throughout; the theme if you will, for people
hoping to age in place, is that most of us live in what I call ‘Peter Pan’ houses. Our houses are designed and built for people
who will never grow old. Beyond that, most of us cannot possibly imagine being
sick, let alone unable to care for ourselves.
Let’s be real, most of us are mothers, fathers, have worked for years
and shouldered many responsibilities. Of
course we will be equipped to handle our affairs throughout. Often time health issues are the game changer
and suddenly the day comes when it is just too much. You or your far away children realize that
you need a medical
alert system, but
also a guide, a supporter or defender.
That’s right, a health advocate!
What is a health care advocate, otherwise
known as a care manager? Simply, it is a professional who assists us in our
dealings with doctors, nurses, hospitals, dentists, other health care
professionals and services along the way. With the increased cost and
complexity of the medical care system, comes the increased need to be vigilant
in ensuring that our personal safety and health care needs
are being met. Many of us, for a variety of reasons, need or want someone to
help. A health advocate can serve that very important need; the keeper of the
gate, if you will. He or she serves as a conduit between you and the health
care system, and advocates on your behalf. Most often your care manager
provides a sense of relief; you are no longer alone in dealing with significant
issues. Medical advocates provide research, referrals and reminders to clients
or their loved ones in partnership with medical professionals. Most
importantly, care managers care. It surely is not a sign of weakness that we
may need help. In fact, hiring a care manager can be looked at as a gift we
give ourselves or our loved ones.
Sometime in our lives we are all entitled to need help and be helped.
Home Safety Checklist for Senior Caregivers
Tips for Caregivers at Home”
With Senior Medical Alert Systems Help is Just a Click”
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