How to Survive
a Medical Crisis

Supporting You & Your Family Through
Times When You Feel Powerless

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Learn The Simple Steps That Put You Back In Charge of Your Medical Care

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?

Anyone who:

  • 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

How can I find out about my medications? +

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.

How do I get to the doctor's office for appointments after I get home from the hospital? +

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.

What do you do about taking medications you were taking before you went to the hospital? +

This is a question for the doctor and you should get it answered before you leave.

What do I do if the hospital wants to release my family member before I'm prepared to bring them home? +

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.

What do you do if you can't reach your doctor? +

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.

How do I get into or around my home in a wheelchair? +

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.

What do I do about the coordination of treatment between PCP/specialist upon release from the hospital? +

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.

Medicines? +

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.

How can I find out when my family member is likely to be released from the hospital? +

You the patient or family member should be asking the doctor when I’m likely to go home.

More Questions?

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