Patient Advocacy 101
Many of our seniors are cancelling doctors’ appointments, discontinuing therapy sessions, and barring caregivers from their homes. In most cases these seniors are “stuck” in their homes with nobody laying eyes on them to assess their cognitive, physical and emotional well-being.
The severity of the effects isolation has is unprecedented. While we can’t grasp how this will play out, we do know the drain on cognitive reserve and physical status can only be determined once a professional assesses, and provides options to improve their quality of life. Here are a few things we can do to make the best of the situation and preserve our loved ones’ well-being:
- Verifying that they have not only enough food, but the right foods
- Ensure they are compliant with medications
- Explore new or different medication regimens to address depression or anxiety
- Make sure the staples, such as hydration, sleep, clean clothes, etc. are tended to
- Arrange for interactions that allow you to see your loved one, via zoom, a drive by visit, or another platform
Can we say with certainty “My loved one’s life is the best it can be”? A key to patient advocacy is knowing the issues first. In this time, more than ever, when children of our seniors cannot visit, and there is no one checking in, oversight is crucial. Only once we understand the challenges can we be effective advocates.
Shari Markowitz Geller, MSW, CMC
President, Senior Options Inc.
Todd R. Zellen, Esq.
Time to Increase Connection
Karyn Rosenberg, LCSW, PMH-C
Living in today’s world can be challenging while facing a pandemic. Living in a time of isolation and social distancing has shown to be very difficult. This uncertainty in life can create a great deal of anxiety and depression, especially for the senior population. There are emotional issues that increase with lifestyle and aging changes, and the difficulty of being apart from families can add to the increased stressors. Finding ways to connect with family and friends are more important now than ever before. Even from a distance, there are ways that people can remain connected, while being apart. One of the things that many grandparents have said, is that they miss their families, especially their grandchildren. Through the use of technology, it is possible to be “together while apart.” FaceTime, WhatsApp and Facebook messenger are some ways to achieve moments of connection. Finally remember that exercise, being outdoors, and going for a drive to see the beauty of nature, are all ways to help feel connected while staying safe.