What Is a Healthcare Advocate?

Healthcare advocacy is a process where a person accompanies someone else to visits with doctors and other medical professionals. A healthcare advocate can be a valuable resource for a variety of reasons. Here are just a few examples. 

Catching All the Details

Even if you have an impressive knowledge of a particular medical subject, it can be challenging to catch all the details that are flying around during a consultation. Simply having a healthcare advocate in the room with you can increase the chances that a problem with something like a treatment plan will be spotted. Two heads are always better than one, and it's great to have someone there who can ask a doctor to pump the breaks so a topic can be broached a second time.

Specialized Knowledge

Although folks involved with healthcare advocacy aren't substitutes for doctors and specialists, they can bring experience and knowledge to the table. Particularly when dealing with unique situations you haven't encountered before, such as the beginning of chemo or making choices about hospice care, it can be advantageous to have someone advising you who has been involved in these conversations before.

Dementia Issues

People who are suffering from certain types of dementia may struggle to follow the conversations going on during medical consultations. A healthcare advocate can make sure that someone facing such challenges has a trusted adviser present to explain things and help them sort through options.

Mental Health Concerns

Similar concerns arise when people suffer from some mental health conditions. These include dealing with concerns involving the comprehension of dense medical topics and emotional response to discussions. Likewise, the advocate can help lessen some of the sense of unquestioned authority that comes with working with a medical professional dealing with someone who has mental or emotional problems. This can reduce the risk that tunnel vision well set in during the decision-making process.

Different Perspectives

It is easy for medical professionals to focus on certain problems and solutions. That's great when you need them to be narrowly focused, but it can be dangerous when a situation might call for some degree of exploration and consideration. A second person in the room can make a patient feel more confident in bouncing ideas back at a doctor, nurse or specialist. By fleshing ideas out in a more open exchange among three or more people, healthcare advocacy is intended to improve patient outcomes.

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An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away You likely found this blog because you are dedicated to improving your health. You may simply not know what a healthy lifestyle consists of or you may understand what good health habits are, but lack the motivation to put this knowledge into action. No matter what gets in the way of achieving good health, we plan to help you every step of the way. Whether you need to learn what a healthy meal consists of, how often you should exercise to maintain good cardiovascular health, or how to improve your motivation to work out, we hope you can find the answers to your questions on this blog or the healthcare resources we share here. While we are not health experts, we strive to lead healthy lifestyles, just like you.