For many adults, there may come a time when you have to help with the care of your aging parent. Be it a parent who’s just been given a scary medical diagnosis or a parent who can no longer take care of themselves and needs to move into an assisted living facility, you’re only going to be of meaningful help to them if you can serve as an advocate for them.
To help you learn how this can be done, here are three ways you can become a better health advocate for your aging parent.
Learn All You Can About Their Health
When it comes to being an advocate for someone, knowledge truly is power. The more you know about your parents and their medical situation, the better you’ll be able to advocate for them.
As part of this education, you’ll want to learn all about your parent’s past medical history. Learn about what issues they’re going through and what medications they are taking. You should also learn about what procedures they might need to have in the future, what medical facilities they should use in their area, and what doctors would be best suited for caring for them. With all of this knowledge, you should be able to help explain things to your aging parents and assist them in making the right medical decisions for themselves.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions
It’s easy to feel intimidated when speaking with a doctor about a medical problem. And since your aging parent might not be in the right state of mind during doctor appointments, it’s up to you to ask the right questions in order to get the information you need to make informed decisions.
To help you with this, consider writing down any questions that you come up with before doctor’s appointments. Bring that list of questions with you so that you can speak with the doctor about things that you’ve been wondering and have on your mind. Even if it requires you to spend more time with the doctor than is normal, you deserve to get every answer to every question you have about your parent’s health.
Follow Your Intuition
In all of the years that you have known your parents, you likely know what they are like when they are feeling well and when they aren’t. So while those giving your parents their medical care might say one thing, if you feel that something just isn’t right, part of being a good health advocate for your parents includes trusting your own intuition about what they need and what decisions will be best.
If you’re about to start helping your aging parents make decisions regarding their health, consider using the tips mentioned above to help yourself become a better advocate for them.