Who is YOUR Healthcare Advocate?

by
Sandra Lee Buxton
ROLE OF AN ADVOCATE
Definition – A person who speaks up for or writes on behalf of another, defending or pleading a cause, an intercessor.
Informal Roles
– Verbal requests to another to take certain actions on your behalf.
HEALTHCARE ADVOCATE, A FORMAL ROLE
This is a legal document in which you determine who you want as your spokesperson and what their responsibilities will be. There are different titles representing specific roles from a Durable Power of Attorney to a Healthcare Surrogate. These are frequently the roles of family members, but not always.
In choosing an Advocate consider these factors:
* Choose someone that you trust with personal information.
* Determine what you trust this person to do, or to be knowledgeable about. Example – should they make all decisions for you or only if you’re unable to speak for yourself ? If a Healthcare professional is obtained for a specific duration of time, common functions are:
1 – Schedule doctor appointments and accompany the person during the visits. Many times, it also requires reinforcing the directives of the physician. If a visit to the ER or hospitalization is required an Advocate can accompany or meet at the hospital to oversee care and coordinate additional services while keeping in contact with the Primary Care Provider. For this to work seamlessly you have previously given written permission for the Advocate to receive and provide medical information. Without that document healthcare providers must keep all personal information protected and cannot discuss these matters.
2- An Advocate can work on your behalf for as long as you need them, it could be a onetime event, or a long-term relationship. It’s a personal decision based on one’s own circumstances. If you live alone or have no family members in Naples, this role is even more important. The best time to make a plan is prior to a crisis. See your Attorney or Wealth Management Advisor to discuss what’s best for you. You’ll be pleased with the security that this important decision brings.
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