Nancy Ruffner

Nancy Ruffner Patient Advocate - Aging Expert
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Nancy Ruffner

Nancy Ruffner Patient Advocate - Aging Expert
Advocate Location
Piedmont , SC 29673
Medical Guidance
Other Services
Special Care & Aging
(919) 849-3980
TeleAdvocacy Available
Offers FREE Initial Consultation
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*Greater National Advocates Terms of Use Apply
How I Can Help
Nancy Ruffner Patient Advocate - Aging Expert. Offering 1:1 consulting in patient advocacy, healthcare navigation and successful aging featuring Solo Aging. Group coaching experiences for healthcare professionals.
Champion for Solo Agers ("Elder Orphans" or "Solos"). Telephonic and video conferencing available. Complimentary Consultations by appointment (dedicated time and focus on you!) for inquiries towards engagement.
Important Information About Me
  • I offer a FREE Initial Consultation
  • I offer TeleAdvocacy Service
  • I am insured
  • My geographical area of practice is Online consulting - US -based
Why I Became A Professional Health Care Advocate
I can tell you that I've been "Inside The Kaleidoscope", too.
Armed with education and relevant work experience my sister and I thought we were the two best-equipped daughters on the planet to assist our parents as they aged. With my sister as part of the area Ombudsman office and I as a Legal/ Financial Specialist within a global EAP, we had phenomenal research capabilities and a wealth of resources at our fingertips.

What we encountered was a fragmented and complex healthcare system and soon I saw the gaping need. We struggled to oversee care coordination and ensure adequate communication among providers so as to make informed decisions. We put out fires, like when a specialist prescribed a medication considered to be dangerous in our father's condition (it was among those listed on the Beers Criteria® for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults). We fought with a Long Term Care insurance company to even get the claim initiated so that all those years of our parents' faithful payments would render funding for the care that they now needed. We researched and employed technology, created accessibility. We downsized and right-sized and helped our folks as they entered Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care.

Here's an interesting part. We as sisters and caregivers and members of the Sandwich Generation, holding down professional employment and all the while spinning plates became fatigued and debilitated individuals. Grappling with home/work/life situations we found ourselves in disagreement regarding a parent's care decisions and housing. We became estranged. At one point I nearly sought to legally contest my sister's suitability as Power of Attorney. I was flying solo in support. You see, we both wanted what was best (for our dad), we just had different ways of achieving it.

I get it now. In my work now you will hear me refer to this facet of caregiving as "quibbling siblings" (whether infighting, downright estrangement, or even sabotage). I've been there.

I was meeting with success, truly navigating. Friends and professionals began to seek out my help with their circumstances and for advice.

More than a few folks declared "You should really hang out your shingle." My reply for a while was a steadfast "NO!" (no, I could never; things were still too fresh and In-My-Face). I loved and valued my work, and since my employer was a benefits company I was secure in them, surrounded by and with access to every benefit imaginable for health, work and life. Why would I ever want to leave that?

A series of events would soon follow, unconnected and unsolicited signs whose result was as close to 'A Calling' as I had ever felt. I was peppered with enough signs that I felt I must pay attention to them. So the "I could never" became the "maybe I could", and then the "could" was followed by the "I should" and finally the declaration "I will".

I've never looked back. And there's very little I would change.

NAVIGATE NC (the agency I founded and worked within 2013-2022) became a market leader for patient advocacy services, serving as the voice of patients and their families and enabling patients to receive the highest quality care. Today I provide online on consulting along with speaking, and teaching, helping patients and their loved ones nationwide to navigate healthcare and the challenges that arrive with aging.

I look forward, every day, to providing remedy. I thrive upon provoking thought and bringing solution. I will have our antennae up on behalf of you or your loved one, for best outcome, for safety, as support, to save you time and money. I can show you the way through The Kaleidoscope.
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Formal Education
Western Carolina University, Bachelor of Science in Social Work, 1979
NC State University, GCCE (Counselor Education) 2010
Additional Skills
I bring a wealth of savvy and a ton of tenacity. I have a work ethic "to beat the band", and strong integrity not often displayed in our society today. I am a sum of my experiences and you will often hear me say that I'll "bring the 500 families" I've helped along with me to help you now.
Now offering 1:1 consulting for:
* Patients and loved ones
* Solo Agers
*Adult Children with Aging Parents
* Coaching for entrepreneurs in healthcare