Being a caretaker for a loved one can be a difficult job, no matter how rewarding. However, it doesn’t have to be as stressful as long as the person that is in your care has the best primary care doctor for them. Having a good primary care doctor means less on your shoulders because they’re available to be your go-to resource for your loved one’s needs. Their job is to help you make informed decisions as they treat the person in your care.
In the world of Senior healthcare, it is so important to make sure the primary care doctor you choose is well-versed and knowledgeable about the patient’s medical history. The PCP is essentially your partner in making the best choices for the well-being of your loved one.
Your Role as the Patient Advocate
Typically patient advocates are close family members of the person requiring consistent medical care, but this can also be a neighbor or friend. If you’re a caretaker, you’re advocating for one of the 70% of Seniors who have someone like you to look out for them. According to Family Caregiver Alliance, there are 39.8 million caregivers in the United States that are caring for an adult with a disability or illness, 15.7 million of which include Alzheimer’s disease. Caregiving goes beyond doctors appointments. Most patient advocates also find themselves taking on tasks like grocery shopping, housekeeping, prescription management, dressing, grooming, and bathing. The patient’s quality of life is drastically impacted by the help of their caretaker.
As a patient advocate, it’s your job to be the second person in the room listening to the patient’s primary care doctor’s advice. This can also look like making sure the patient you’re caring for is being heard in the doctor’s office, taking notes, keeping their medical records organized, and not being afraid to ask questions or clarify things. As we age, our memory begins to struggle. This issue may show up at the doctor’s office by the patient forgetting to share a health problem that just started or forgetting the doctor’s instructions for home care. This is just one reason why the relationship between the caretaker and the provider is essential for the wellbeing of the patient.
When you’re helping your patient find the best primary care doctor for Seniors, these are important items to keep on your checklist.
Look for a Continuum of Care
When finding the perfect primary care doctor in Senior healthcare, it’s essential to look for a doctor that practices a continuum of care. You can find this in multi-specialty medical facilities that provide a comprehensive range of health services so that care can evolve with the patient over time. Understanding and knowing that gaps in patient care exist, is the first step. The second step is a high level of communication between medical care teams, the patient and the caretaker. This will provide you, the doctor, and the patient a bird’s eye view of everything going on in their medical care. It’s all rooted in prevention and condition management, so your patient can live a full life without worry.
Utilize Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Advantage Plans, also known as “Part C” or “MA Plans,” are an “all inclusive” plan that goes beyond the Original Medicare Plan. This plan is usually offered through private companies that Medicare approves. This is a great option for those looking for a more robust plan that enhances their lifestyle without giving up being on Medicare.
Most Medicare Advantage Plans offer additional access and coverage for vision, hearing, dental, and access to gym memberships or discounts. This program is also more customizable, so you can add on any additional coverage you believe will improve or support the patient’s lifestyle.
Most of the best Senior healthcare doctors are available through Medicare and the Medicare Advantage Plans. However, if you or the patient you’re advocating for is unsure if they qualify, Clinical Care Medical Centers has resources and advocates just for you! Contact us today, and we’ll be happy to help you get started on applying to the programs you qualify for!
Keep COVID-19 Risks in Mind
As a caretaker, you want to ensure that the person you’re caring for stays as safe and healthy as possible. This can get tricky when working with an at-risk population that is more prone to complications with illnesses like COVID-19. At Clinical Care Medical Centers, we are taking every precaution to ensure patient safety without compromising the care they deserve.
We happily provide the necessary healthcare through at-home visits, Telehealth, and our urgent care hotlines for those who don’t feel comfortable coming in person. Your Senior’s needs can be met whichever way they feel most comfortable. Their safety and care is our highest priority. Our bi-lingual staff is here to help with whatever is necessary for your loved one. To schedule a tour, or speak to a Senior healthcare professional check out what Clinical Care Medical Centers can do for you call 1-800-831-4424.