When confronted by a serious family illness or injury, we often feel so much fear that we don't ask the doctors questions about our diagnosis or treatments. Develop the courage to ask questions and learn about your condition. Build confidence through understanding your condition and how to manage it.
By understanding treatment options and consequences, you can choose what works best for you and your family. You can more calmly evaluate serious decisions, as well as form a partnership with your doctors to include your family preferences and abilities in supporting the recovery of a family member.
Maintain Peace of Mind
Peace of mind around supporting a family member with medical issues comes from knowledge, understanding, and cooperation. Ask the questions, build your support system, and realize that you have the capacity to handle the situation and can all in whatever expertise is necessary. Know, with certainty, that you are doing everything needed for the care and comfort of your family.
Welcome to Get the Care You Deserve
We believe that the future of excellence in medical care depends upon the participation of patients and their families in the decision-making process around care and treatment of injuries and illnesses.
Our mission is to educate and empower individuals to calmly, compassionately and determinedly participate with medical personnel in the care and maintenance of their own health and the health of their family members.
Who needs a health advocate?
- Feels overwhelmed by or has difficulty managing their medical situation
- Has a complicated medical condition
- Is not familiar with the medical system
- Is a senior
- Doesn't have family or caregivers to help navigate the medical system OR does have them and THEY need more help too!
- Feels stuck or frustrated because progress is coming too slowly
- Needs help deciding what direction to take their care
- Wants support to carry out an advance directive
Frequently Asked Questions
The best way is to talk to the physician, or nurse in the doctor’s office before you leave the office. In the doctor’s office, if you can’t reach the doctor, you MUST speak to the nurse, because the others don’t have medical training. The receptionist may not pick up the nuances of the patient’s communication or understand the implications of the question or answer. If you work with a Home Health Agency, you could call/ask the nurse there. If you’re in the hospital, these questions should be asked of the doctor or nurse before you leave the hospital. Also, if you receive new prescriptions for medications upon hospital release, you should pick them up BEFORE going home.
There are community services that will transport people who can’t drive from their home to the doctor’s office/clinic/hospital. This issue may be covered by the Discharge Nurse or medical Social Worker.
This is a question for the doctor and you should get it answered before you leave.
Please ask the doctor to prescribe home health because I’m going to need help at home. If you are the family member and your loved one says “I don’t need it”, insist that they get a visit to have an evaluation. Have the doctor order it. The nurse will come and answer any questions that you haven’t anticipated. Within the hospital, the patient is in a skilled environment where problems can be addressed and questions answered.
Frequently people who are confined to a wheel chair are brought home in an ambulance and the attendants will carry you into the house. But then you still have to get around inside the home. Check front of the phone book for applicable phone numbers. Check the area on Aging. There should be no physical barriers such as steps within the home or to get into/out of the home.
This question should be covered during planning the discharge. The Medical Social Worker or Discharge Planner or Case Manager should be able to answer this question while still in the hospital. You can try saying “This is not a safe discharge plan”, but you may have to pay for the additional time privately.
Suppose you’re in the hospital and now you’re coming home needing an injectible medication. Do you have the medication and the proper equipment to administer the treatment that’s prescribed. (Drainage tube and appropriate equipment). This is an area where Home Health can step in and help. Hospital bed.