Thank You, I Feel Better Already

Thank You, I Feel Better Already
| by Kristy Dalechek

As an independent healthcare advocate what do I hear most often from new clients and families? “Thank you, I feel better already just knowing someone is on my side.” By the time a potential client reaches out to us they are usually at their wits end. They do not know where to turn or how to get the information they need. Sometimes they are even scared for the safety of their loved one.

How does an advocate provide peace and comfort?

We Listen

At Haven Healthcare Advocates we start with a conversation. We listen to clients and families as they discuss their loved one and their health condition. We listen to what led up to the current health issue. We listen to the wishes of the patient and what they want for their health and their wellbeing. We get a clear picture of the situation and what health goals they hope to achieve. Together we develop a care plan and a course of action. Simply taking a moment to take a deep breath and have a focused discussion can often bring a sense of clarity that was missing.

We Facilitate

Working with someone who has experience, who knows the system and can provide explanations, information, and resources is invaluable. We know how the healthcare system works, we know where to go to get information and we know how to get answers. Whether it is in a hospital setting, a long-term care setting or a doctor’s office, having someone by your side that has experience in the medical field is beneficial and comforting.

We Communicate

At times, families feel as though they are not being heard. They feel their questions are not being answered. They feel their concerns are not being validated. Having an advocate on your side to facilitate a conversation assures your concerns are being addressed. The medical team also feels confident that you understand what is happening and are making informed decisions.

While a patient advocate will not, nor should they, provide medical advice; they can clarify information and provide explanations in terms that make sense. We work to assure you understand what the medical team is conveying so you can make the most informed decisions. That doesn’t always happen in the moment. Sometimes families need time to digest the situation and will have questions and concerns later. An advocate is by your side throughout the entire process and is available when those questions or concerns arise.

We Coordinate

Having an advocate on your side helps ensure your loved one’s care is being coordinated; that everyone involved is on the same page working for a mutual goal. That often includes direct communication with the medical team, social workers, and therapists, as well as regular updates to family. A healthcare advocate will often recommend a care conference where everyone comes together at one time to share information, discuss care, answer questions, and work together to meet the loved one’s needs. Knowing everyone is on the same page can provide that much needed sense of peace and comfort.

Healthcare can be frightening and confusing. You do not have to face healthcare issues, for you or a loved one, alone. Consider reaching out to a healthcare advocate. You may feel better after one conversation.