What is a Patient Advocate and 4 Ways They Can Help You

For people in hospice care, having a patient advocate can ensure they receive the best care. A patient advocate is someone who helps guide your loved one through their end-of-life journey. This includes everything from attending doctors’ appointments, to talking with pharmacists, to going to specialist visits, and much more. Patient advocates are experts at helping people communicate their healthcare needs and interpreting information from health care providers. They ensure your loved one has all the necessary information required to make the best decisions for themselves.

Here are 4 ways in which patient advocates can help:

  1. They maximize doctors’ visits. Most of us are familiar with the system – you often get a limited amount of time with your doctor and you can easily run out of time before discussing everything on your mind. For patients with complicated medical histories, this time limit can be even more stressful. Patient advocates help by going into to each doctor’s appointment with a plan, and ensuring all concerns are addressed and questions are answered.
  2. Patient advocates help the patient get all the information they need about their care. Doctors’ visits can be intimidating, and it’s normal to feel overwhelmed with the amount of information received. Working with a patient advocate ensures that there are no knowledge gaps or critical information that has been miscommunicated or misunderstood.
  3. They reduce stress and provide comfort. It’s very common to feel stressed and anxious when attending doctors’ appointments. For people who have serious medical conditions and require multiple visits to multiple doctors, this stress can be bad for their health. Patient advocates step up to deal with the most confusing and frustrating parts of doctors’ visits, offering much-needed relief to the patient.
  4. Patient advocates help patients navigate the health insurance system. After several doctors’ visits, the last thing a patient wants to do is deal with complicated insurance paperwork. Patient advocates ensure that the patient was billed correctly and can help reduce costs, while completing the necessary forms on the patient’s behalf.

In assisted living, there are ‘built in’ patient advocates 

Making the transition into hospice care is a journey that the entire family takes together, . Bridges at The Shores is a premier hospice, and we’re committed to providing a serene, peaceful environment for our residents. We’re proud to be the go-to hospice for so many people in our community. We believe that the needs, desires, comfort, dignity, and quality of life of all our residents is of the utmost importance, which is why our onsite team includes a registered nurse, social worker, chaplain, certified nursing aide, and other specialists who concentrate on care, including pain management and emotional support.

Creating and maintaining an environment that allows our residents to enjoy a meaningful transition into hospice care is something we are passionate about at Bridges at The Shores. Our hospice is designed with consideration for every possible need our residents may have, and we are fully equipped to provide care, medication assistance, physical therapy, and often-needed comfort and support.

We understand the decision to place a loved one in hospice can be difficult, and we do everything possible to ease the transition for your loved one and your entire family. To learn more about hospice care at Bridges, please contact us today. We look forward to speaking with you.