As COVID-19 lockdowns and mask-wearing requirements continue here in Whatcom County, an increasing trend we are seeing is that the elderly are having difficulty at medical appointments.
With masks being a requirement, it is difficult for many people to correctly understand what doctors and nurses are telling them. Many elderly people do not hear well and are unable to read their providers’ facial expressions or lips from behind their masks. For many older adults, this is extremely isolating — and even scary. Not only do they feel unable to communicate about important life-related needs, but they often can’t even acquire a good understanding of what they are supposed to do (how to take medications, when to return for a follow-up appointment, how to process potentially life-changing health information, etc.).
For those reasons, it is prudent to ask whether older loved ones need a healthcare advocate to accompany them to medical appointments in Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden and throughout Whatcom County.
Not only can assistants help with basic tasks like setting appointments, driving and picking up prescriptions, but they also can help digest important information from healthcare providers at appointments and can help explain how and when to take medications.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, when so much is confusing and far beyond ordinary, having a kind, calming person to assist with tasks related to healthcare can be an enormous relief.
Some seniors avoid going to the doctor because they feel like they don’t understand what they are being told or they are scared of the outcome, even though not every visit leads to bad news. There may be important prevention information to learn or wellness tweaks to make that can help extend their lives. Having a healthcare advocate at their side can make all the difference.
Related: How to visit loved ones
during the COVID-19 pandemic
Plus, in addition to health-related support, an advocate also can help with such responsibilities as ensuring that bills are paid, transporting people to and from appointments, shopping for groceries in Bellingham, cooking meals and liaising with important Whatcom County community services.
If you think your mom, dad or other loved one could benefit from having a healthcare advocate at an upcoming medical appointment, please give Take My Hand At-Home Care a call. We would be happy to discuss your needs and opportunities.