Medical Care for the Aging has gotten much more complex with the implementation of The Affordable Care Act. Many additional processes and steps have been injected into the healthcare process. Now a patient may experience interaction with 4 to 5 specialists who are providing them care and each may not use the same language the others do. It can be confusing for anyone, but when the patient is elderly it gets even more difficult to navigate all the issues. Pamela Jackson is a registered nurse who has been guiding patients and their families through the complex healthcare landscape for many years and in this conversation she has some sage advice on how a family can best make sense of the care their elderly family member is receiving and she also explains the ways they can work with the healthcare providers to maximize the benefits their loved one receives.
How to work with providers to get the best medical care for the aging loved ones in your life.
Since there are so many specialized areas of medicine and medical care these days every patient who is admitted to a hospital will be faced with the challenge of understanding a lot of unfamiliar terms as well as interacting with many providers within the hospital or care facility. When that patient is elderly it often falls on family members to understand what’s going on and help the patient with the complex details that impact the decisions they make about their own care. In this conversation Pam Jackson, RN gives her advice about how family members can ask the right questions and integrate the information they receive from the various providers that are treating their loved one in order to maximize care and make the experience truly beneficial.
When your elderly parent goes into the hospital, start a care notebook.
One of the most helpful pieces of advice Pam Jackson, RN gives to the family members of elderly patients is to diligently record things in a care notebook from the time their family member enters the hospital or care facility. This will enable them to recall important details of who has told them what, understand the various terms and labels that are being applied to their loved one’s care, and bring things to the attention of other providers that they may not have known. It’s one way you can take charge of the care your family member receives and ensure that everyone understands what’s going on. You can hear more great advice like this in this interview from the Family Caregiver Summit.
Once you leave the hospital it may be difficult to communicate with Medicaid and others.
Many of the benefits that come from Medicaid or insurance companies are applied during a loved one’s stay at the care facility or hospital. That’s to be expected. But you may need to receive ongoing benefits after you leave the hospital. A common difficulty is that it’s often hard to contact the right people at those organizations once you’re out of the hospital and on your own. That’s why Pam Jackson, RN recommends that you do what it takes to get answers to every issue of care and benefits possible – while your loved one is still in the facility. You should also be sure to get contact information you can use once you have exited the hospital. Pam has lots of great advice to share in this conversation so do what you can to listen to it.
There are lots of free elder care resources and information out there. Are you using them?
Near the end of this conversation Pam Jackson, RN lists a handful of organizations and companies that provide valuable, informative, helpful resources to caregivers and those who work with the elderly. As you listen to this interview you’ll become aware of many resources like these that you likely didn’t know existed. Our hope is that as you avail yourselves of the help that is out there you’ll discover that you don’t have to go it alone as a caregiver of your aging family member. Find out more about how you can get the help you need by listening to this conversation from the Family Caregiver Summit.
What You’ll Discover in this Interview:
- Who Pam Jackson is and how she serves caregivers.
- Navigating the terms used in the healthcare environment.
- What can family members do to best use their healthcare insurance benefits?
- The complicated issues that add to the challenge of delivering effective medical care.
- Why it’s important to connect with the variety of providers involved in patient care.
- How to work together with providers to develop a care plan for loved ones.
- Learning the differences the types of care your insurance provides.
- Understanding the benefits that come via medicaid and other services – and the importance of utilizing them while you are in a care facility.
- How family can help medical providers best care for their elderly family members.
- The practical aspects of how the family can help their elder family members undergoing medical care.
- Pam’s best advice for the family caregiver.
- The best next step for family caregivers.
- Resources from the American Family Physicians Group.