What is Patient Advocacy?

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Patient advocacy is an important term that all family caregivers should understand. Put simply, advocacy is the act of putting the wants, needs and desires of the senior in need of care, first. The advocate works with families, patients and health care providers to ensure that needs are being met, wishes are respected and they can even assist in conflict resolution. An advocate may be a family member or a professional and they may have many roles.

What Advocacy Entails

There are several things that advocacy can entail for an aging loved one. Advocacy includes supporting the senior, rallying for their best interests and working with their health care team and caregivers. An important component for many families is that the advocate can help weigh the options when it comes to big decisions such as medical treatments and testing. The advocate can assist in exploring all care options such as home care, Mesa seniors are receiving. However, what the advocate can and cannot do is also dependent on the type of advocate.

Types of Advocates

There are a few types of patient advocates that are available. These include those employed by health care facilities such as hospitals, which may be called patient representatives, independent advocates employed by the family and family caregivers themselves. Advocacy of the patient representative typically ends once the loved one leaves the health care facility but the independent and caregiver advocacy role can be indefinite.

Why Advocacy is Important

Advocacy is very important for caregivers and for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, it gives the aging parent or loved one a voice. Without someone advocating for the senior and/or family, they may not know all of the options available. Therefore, advocacy can help ensure that the best care is received, while ensuring that the loved one receives holistic treatment.

If you are exploring care options for your aging loved one and are interested in learning more about home care services, contact Home Care Assistance of Mesa today. We offer a range of specialty care services including dementia care in Mesa and offer care on an hourly or twenty four hour basis. To request free information or a complimentary in-home consultation, contact a Care Manager at (480) 699-4899.


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