Many middle aged Americans have had to take on the role as caretaker for their aging parents or loved ones who require an increasing amount of medical attention. People who also have their own job, family, and responsibilities, now add on a very time consuming and stressful job to coordinate their loved ones complex health issues. Some people even have to take family sick leave in order to care for their loved one due to the amount of time required. Often enough, that time off means taking a pay cut, which increases the stress around the situation. According to R. Stepler at the Pew Research Center (2017), “about eight-in-ten leave takers (78%) who took unpaid or partially paid family or medical leave say they cut back on their spending to compensate for lost wages or salary. Substantial shares also say they used savings set aside for something else (50%), used savings set aside for the reason they took leave (45%), cut their leave short (41%) or took on debt (37%).”
Maybe you don’t have to take leave, but you have to use your sick time or paid vacation trying to coordinate your loved ones care. This could include taking them to doctor appointments, getting tests done, going to physical therapy or rehab, organizing care between multiple providers, facilitating communication between all parties, dealing with hospital visits when necessary, working with home health aides or nursing homes, dealing with medical bills; and the list goes on. Either way, you are giving up your time and money to do so. Not to say that it is a bad thing; it is wonderful if you are able to take care of your loved one, but often times it can be very difficult.
Part of what we do as advocates is take that burden off your shoulders, so you can get back to being a family and enjoying your lives together. Your time is incredibly valuable, so instead of spending it stressed about your loved ones medical care, let us do the work instead! This does not only apply to taking care of elderly loved ones, it could be anyone: a child, a spouse, a friend. By working with an advocate, you save your time and money by allowing us to coordinate care, speaking with providers, organizing appointments, attending appointments, asking questions, looking into insurance and medical bills, etc. We can do many of the things you would do for your loved one to help them get the best care possible, while allowing you to simply be a loved one and not a caretaker.
Here at The Patient Advocate Agency, we have helped countless families who needed assistance coordinating care for their parents or children. Most families come to us in crisis, tapped on emotional resources and overwhelmed by their circumstances. In these situations, something has to give. We take on their burdens and allow them to focus on healing and being a family.
We love our job advocating for people within our incredibly complex healthcare system. It is so rewarding to help our clients resolve their issues and get back to living a happy and healthy life!
Stepler, R. (2017, March 23). Key takeaways on Americans’ views of and experiences with family and medical leave. Retrieved from http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/03/23/key-takeaways-on-americans-views-of-and-experiences-with-family-and-medical-leave/