What is a patient care advocate? How do you know how-and-when to step up for the person you are caring for? If you are a family member or friend of a patient, here are some ways you can be helpful as an advocate, both in the doctor’s office and at the hospital. In this video, we’ll teach you how to be the best patient care advocate, suggest questions you can ask, and give advice about advocating for the person you are caring for.
How do you know how and when to really step up for the person you are caring for?
In this video, we’ll teach you how to be the best patient care advocate, suggest questions you can ask, and give advice about advocating for the person you are caring for.
First off, what is a patient care advocate?
A patient care advocate is someone who helps the person they are caring for understand their condition, and the options that are available to them.
They go to appointments with them and ask a lot of questions that the person they are caring for may not think of.
If the person you are caring for can speak for themselves, what are some questions you should ask them?
You can start with questions like,
Are you comfortable speaking with your healthcare professionals?
Can you get the information you need?
Do you have any questions?
If they say they don’t feel comfortable talking to their health care professional, ask if they want you to speak for them.
The person you are caring for has the right to understand their condition.
Knowing all of their options will help them make the best decisions about their care.
It is important that they feel involved and in control. So at appointments, let the person
answer the health care provider’s questions first.
Only step in if it makes sense. For example, you may have questions or may need to ask for clarification about something.
On the other hand, you might have information about the person you are caring for to share with the health care team but, you should always ask them for permission to share the information first.
After an appointment, write down the key points and keep a record of them. You can also voice record the appointment once you have gotten consent from your provider to do so.
We hope that these tips will help you in becoming the best patient care advocate for the person you
are caring for.
For more advice, see our video: Working with Health Care Professionals.
Be sure to check out our CareChannel for more caregiver support and resources.