If your loved one is battling a serious health crisis or just living in a long-term care Los Angeles setting, it can be very beneficial to have a family caregiver working as a spokesperson on their behalf.
The nurses attending to those in hospice in Los Angeles Ca tell us that when someone is aging or becomes ill, they usually have more health problems to talk about. That is why it is a good idea to have a second pair of eyes and ears to steer clear of misunderstandings and to make sure the best care is always given.
If you want to be an effective healthcare advocate for those needing hospice and palliative care in Los Angeles, you have to stay attentive, organized, and adhere to the advice down below.
Make Sure To Ask Questions
When there is a difficult diagnosis or there is a new plan of care, it can be very overwhelming for hospice Los Angeles patients. To be a competent healthcare advocate, it is recommended to ask questions about the information being given. If something is unclear, ask that person to explain it a second time. Ask about any advantages, disadvantages, side effects, recovery time, and follow-up care for any prescribed treatment or procedure. If you are dealing with a person who can’t answer your questions, ask to talk to someone who can.
Jot Down Some Notes
The hospice care Los Angeles staff say that taking notes is closely associated with asking questions when taking part as an advocate for your loved one’s healthcare. Taking notes is a good way to clear up, or even eliminate any confusion about instructions. Also, it allows you to look into unfamiliar terms, treatments, and medications. You should request a business card when meeting with a new care provider, and always write down the name of the person you talked to and the date of the conversation. As a healthcare spokesperson, don’t just jot down at appointments. Take notes at home, during visits, and throughout your loved one’s care of things you want to ask at your next appointment or meeting so you don’t forget anything.
Keep Patients Records
Although electronic medical records have made it simpler than ever before for doctors and pharmacies at a hospice in Los Angeles to communicate with one another, it’s still possible for the information to get lost from one visit to another. For this reason, it’s a good idea to maintain your own copy of the patient’s medical records organized in a folder. Also, it is handy to keep a present list of all medications your loved one is taking the prescribed dosages and a list of any allergies they have.
Additionally, you should make a list of the physicians and pharmacies your loved one is using and the current contact information for each. Copies of your loved one’s insurance cards are also good to have on hand in case a medical professional asks for updated information.
Ask For Regular Updates
When a loved one is taken to a hospital or is staying in a rehabilitation center or long-term care facility, it is essential to schedule regular updates on their care. Particularly if you can’t be with them every day. Discuss with staff about the best method to communicate whether it is through emails, a phone call, or text message updates. If for any reason you can’t visit your loved one in person, ask for video chats. This lets you carry on monitoring their condition while also adding some cheer to your loved one’s day.
Look Out For Mistakes
When you are a healthcare advocate for your loved one, you can reduce the probability of medical errors, billing errors, and hospital-acquired infections. When staff administers medications, you should double-check what medication is being administered and the correct dosage is being given. Also, you should remind staff to wash their hands or to close the curtains to maintain your loved one’s health and dignity.
When your loved one gets a bill for care, make sure to look it over very closely to check whether the information provided is correct and the right type of care, medication, and date of service and tackle any errors with the billing department.
Arrange For Wishes To Be Respected
As acting as a healthcare advocate for your loved one, your most crucial responsibility is to ensure your loved one’s wishes are respected by healthcare providers, besides family members, and yourself. The best place to start is to have your loved one fill in an advance directive and healthcare power of attorney. The advance directive makes their wishes around essential decisions in their care, while the healthcare power of attorney lets the person they choose to make decisions on their behalf if they no longer can talk on their own behalf.
Also, many healthcare facilities will request that your loved one complete a HIPAA release form that designates you as someone their staff can share private healthcare information with. Also, you can take the additional steps of having a general HIPAA release form prepared and notarized for use when required.
When you work with your loved one as an advocate, you will help him or her feel rest assured that when decisions are made, they are getting the best possible care.
Faith & Hope Hospice and Palliative Care team gives support and education to patients and families facing serious and terminal illnesses. To discover more about our best hospice Los Angeles services, places contact us at (877) 965-5911.