medical decision making

When the Answers Are Just Out of Reach

child trying to climb higher

The caller, named Barbara, was in tears, and at first it was difficult to understand what she needed – what she hoped I could help with. “I have no voice! They don’t hear me!” Barbara repeated that phrase several times – meaning – I could clearly hear her, so her statement made no sense to me. At least, it made no sense until I asked her what she was trying to voice – what could …

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It’s Time. And It’s Imperative.

For most of us, it’s been about 14 months since life came to a halt and we began our pandemic distancing and avoiding. For those who actually distanced and avoided appropriately, I say – well done! You did what you could to avoid not only getting sick with COVID yourself, but you helped keep others safe and healthy, too. Unfortunately, in the ying and yang of life, there is also a not-so-good side to that …

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Don’t Let Medical Professionals Make You Feel Guilty

scolding doctor

A recent post on social media caught my eye…. My husband was very clear. He didn’t want his life prolonged. But they guilted me into it! So I told them to go ahead and put him on a ventilator… I wish I hadn’t done that. I will always feel guilty. And, a comment from an email a few months ago…. They told me the only thing they could do was amputate my mother’s foot because …

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You Choose: High Tech? or High Touch?

holding hands

Everywhere we turn, our worlds are being controlled by technology. “There’s an app for that!” we hear. And, for much of our lives, that’s just fine. I’m OK with an app keeping track of who shows up at my front door, or the choices I make for watching TV, or connections with email or text, or a quick reminder from Alexa on when to put the trash cans out to the street. All useful. All …

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How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Independent Advocate?

Did someone say HIRE? Yes – hire. Patients and caregivers who seek the help of a care manager, or patient advocate are surprised to learn that there are two kinds of advocates: The kind you find in a hospital who works for the hospital. The kind who run private practices, who are hired like you would hire an attorney, and who provide services you’ll usually pay for from your pocket, not covered by insurance. You …

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Getting Revenge in the Face of Malpractice

woman with boxing gloves

Sometimes when patients or caregivers do a search in the AdvoConnection Directory for an advocate to help them, they are unable to find someone. There are a number of reasons for that, such as believing an advocate needs to be local (she may not) or not finding someone who the searcher thinks has the skill set to help… When searchers can’t find someone, they are invited to post a request for their “unmet needs”. We, …

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Aging and Alone? Who Will Hold Your Hand Through Healthcare Challenges?

There are terms used to describe those who are aging and alone. “Elder Orphans” is one. “Solo Seniors” is another. Both describe the concept of someone who is older and has no family or younger friends to help out in time of medical crisis (or, for that matter, any other life-assisting event like moving, or shifting financial needs.) If these terms describe you, then you may be asking yourself questions like:

Cancer and COVID-19: A Guide

camcer patient in radiation during covid-19

With thanks to advocate and guest blogger, Claire Thevenot. Find Claire’s advocacy profile here: Clarity Patient Advocates “COVID cancer sucks,” my client said.  She discovered a cancerous lump in her breast a couple of weeks ago and has had to go through the many initial appointments amid the chaos, isolation, and uncertainty of COVID-19. As if a cancer diagnosis isn’t daunting enough, dealing with cancer in a pandemic setting is especially frightening and challenging. If …

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Prepare for the Hospital – A Checklist for Use During the COVID-19 Pandemic

woman hospitalized for COVID

With thanks to advocate and guest blogger, Kim McIlnay.  Find Kim’s advocacy profile here: Together Patient Advocates, LLC Under the best of circumstances, a hospital stay is stressful and uncomfortable. New challenges with the current COVID pandemic make this a time fraught with even more worry, uncertainty and isolation. But there are still many things you can do to prepare. I’m hopeful that these brief tips can help you prepare now for an improved hospitalization …

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An “Advance” New Year’s Resolution

notebook

Happy 2020 to you, my “patient” readers. I wish you much good health and happiness and importantly, peace-of-mind in this new year. OK – yes – it’s mid-January, so it might be a wee-bit late to be listing our resolutions for the year, but that doesn’t make this piece of advice any less important. I want to share something with you that has brought ME some huge peace of mind. And I’m going to challenge …

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