How to Be an Effective Advocate for Aging Parents

The AARP has published an article detailing the skills that a person needs in order to effectively advocate for their parents as they grow older. While an adult child may take on many different roles as a family caregiver, being an advocate for a parent can be the most important of these roles. It is this advocacy that can help ensure the best life possible for an aging parent.

First, it is important that you be observant of your loved one’s abilities, health, and moods at all times. The smallest of changes can indicate a much larger underlying problem. Observation skills also are necessary to identify subpar care that your loved one may be receiving so that you can correct the situation.

Next, you should maintain an organized caregiving plan that includes legal matters, finances, healthcare, and other services. If you struggle with organization, technology has made apps available that can help organize the various aspects of caregiving.

Communication skills unquestionably are important when caring for your loved one in an effective manner. You have the right to question the medical care that your loved one is receiving, the level of services to which your loved one is entitled, and the coverage of your loved one’s expenses by insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare. Keep in mind that your loved one is often unable to ask the questions that need to be asked. As your parent’s advocate, it is your responsibility to ask these questions and get the answers that you deserve.

Finally, tenacity will be an asset to you as you advocate on behalf of your parent. Health care is a complex system that often frustrates the most intelligent of consumers. Dealing with different health care programs, insurance, and bills will result in a large stack of paper that you must wade through on a daily basis. Caregivers and facilities may be reluctant to answer your questions in a manner that you deem appropriate. As a result, tenacity is a skill that will be invaluable to you as you advocate on behalf of your parent.

Developing Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia is only one of the many situations that can lead to abuse or neglect by caregivers. If you or a loved one is seriously injured as a result of elder abuse, or your family has suffered the loss of a loved one due to negligence by nursing home or assisted living facility staff, you may be entitled to compensation. This inquiry involves determining which party or entity was at fault for the accident, acted negligently, or otherwise caused the incident that led to your injuries or your loved one’s death. At Boller & Vaughan, our Madison assisted living facility and nursing home elder abuse lawyers can help you with these determinations, and support you through any personal injury or wrongful death claims that you may have.


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