Be Ready: when your Parent Suddenly Needs a Health Care Advocate

As grown adults with aging parents, we have busy lives already – and not many of us truly realize what will happen when suddenly our parent(s) are in an urgent situation that requires us to jump in and juggle too many things we are not prepared to handle.

Unfortunately pointing fingers at your siblings to get the job done may be the first impulse, but no matter how it is handled, the experience and knowledge of a Health Care Advocate is key to being pro-active and not letting the patient suffer the consequences of our own lack of resources and behind-the-scenes expertise.  Occasionally posts a blog referring to an article of interest within the Ageist website, and today I have posted below the comments from (Founder) David at Ageist from a couple months ago because of how very important it is for you to understand the critical benefits for yourself or the Senior in your life to have a Health Care Advocate.

Feel free to send us your comments or stories about experiences with or recommendations for your Health Care Advocate.  The need is massive and growing.. and if you have not identified a professional advocate already, now’s the time to find one for any future need.. before you are in a lurch and desperately searching – it’s even better if you can interview a couple options for the best fit for your family.


Last weekend I was with my seriously ill mom. It was a situation where I was suddenly thrust into the position of coordinating doctors, prescriptions, care, and household chores. The first thing I learned was that for any patient to manage this is impossible. They are doing all they can to just deal with their own illness. For a family member, it is a steep learning curve of on-the-job training. There are so many bits of minutia to learn: which pharmacies are closed on weekends, finding the best medical transport, understanding byzantine insurance procedures, coordinating home care, and on and on. This is a job for a skilled professional, and although most of us could learn to do this semi-competently after a dozen or so go-rounds, it is learned at the expense of the patient.

We are all told we need a will, various forms of insurance, and a health care directive. We need lawyers, accountants, and other professionals. What we are not told is that we need a health care advocate. A local person who knows the ropes, who knows which doctors have good front-of-office staffs, where to source home care, how to deal with the insurance industry. Few of us would undertake the construction of a house on our own. The level of overlapping complexity here is similar, except the outcomes are far more consequential.

What I find so surprising is that finding a health care advocate is difficult. I would take this as a huge opportunity for a certain sort of empathetic, well-organized person. The need is massive, growing, and not the sort of work an app can do. Every doctor’s office, especially the oncologists, should have a card for a health care advocate.

Stay positive, stay creative, stay healthy,

Till next week,