Advocate For the Patient

My sister is presently advocating for our Mom. Our elders need to be advocated for no matter if they live with a disease or not!

A friend of mine has a master’s degree in public health. She was waylaid in her career as a university hospital administrator, by a congenital disability. Nevertheless, she has found ways to use her in depth knowledge of medical systems to advocate for some of her family and friends when they have a need.

To advocate is to ‘publicly support or recommend a particular cause or policy.’

Having a trusted person advocating for one who is compromised because of ill health can be the difference between success and failure in healing.

Recently, this friend offered me a rant about her experience helping her friend get through surgery and rehab.

“I don’t want to imagine what would have happened to her if I wasn’t there. I think about people with Parkinson’s who don’t have someone like you to help them and how tough that would be.”

“I know.” I told her.

It is hard to deal with sickness and medical treatment no matter what- but without an advocate everything gets complicated by thousands.

My mom has begun her end of life journey. She is a sharp witted, newly turned 90 year old, who is nobody’s fool. She has two paid caregivers who help her life go smoothly but every once in a while one of her caregivers will say something rude or insensitive.

“I’m so exhausted because you got up so many times last night. I feel terrible.”

On another occasion she asked, “When you die can I have your phone?”

In both cases Mom told one of my brothers what had been said and he was able to kindly inform the caregiver that those words were hurtful to Mom and please don’t complain about the job you agreed to do or ask to have her belongings.

Even well meaning people can be inconsiderate at times and having someone stand up for you can mean so much.

I advocate for Andy all the time. It’s easy for me because I’ve become used to people not having any experience dealing with someone who lives with Parkinson’s disease. I simply put on my educator hat and tell people what they need to know.

“Andy cannot stand up this long so we’re going over here to sit down and you can come along if you like.”

“Don’t worry if Andy chokes and coughs while eating. For him it is a sign that his body is working hard not to aspirate food.”

Advocate for people. It’s truly helpful and only makes the world a better place.

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