NShore Patient Advocates, LLC
150 S. Wacker, Ste 2400, Chicago, IL 60606
info@northshorern.com  ·  312-788-2640

The NSPA Blog

Private Advocates Wear Many Hats

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Posted on September 17th, 2015 by Teri Dreher, under Patient Advocacy, Take Charge

Sometimes when adult children come to us with parents facing declining health, there are multiple issues hiding behind the presenting problem. It’s very hard for adult children to know when the time has come to consider transitioning to a safer living environment, unless an accident or serious fall has occurred. For one thing, declining mobility, eyesight, and hearing are all things that family members get used to. Sometimes clients can hear guidance and education from a private advocate in a different way than they would hear from a child. Recognizing signs of home safety risk are something that nurses take for granted as part of our nursing instinct, as well as seeing signs of self neglect and non compliance with medical treatment. Questions such as:

Where do I find a quality caregiver?
What about transportation to my doctor when I can no longer drive?
Who will go with me when my kids can’t go to my appointment?
Is there someone who can help me pay my bills now?
Why won’t my insurance company pay my hospital bills?
Why am I being asked to leave rehab and where will I go?
Why can’t I get my questions answered?
Has my life made a difference, or am I only a burden now?

These are are all questions we hear often and can help resolve through multiple avenues of support. But the underlying issues surrounding many health care crises often involve a feeling of fear. Fear of dying, losing loved ones, loss of dignity and control…the list is endless. Fear is often masqueraded as anger as people age and experience loss, pain and lack of control over their bodies. People are also afraid and frustrated with modern healthcare. Untangling messes, safeguarding and protecting patients rights is what professional advocates do best. I am so honored to be a part of this growing field!

With over 36 years of clinical experience in Critical Care nursing, home based health care and expertise as a cardiovascular nurse clinician, Teri is well acquainted with the complexities of the modern healthcare system. She has served as a nursing leader, mentor, educator, and consistent patient advocate throughout her career in some of the best hospitals across the country. Her passion to keep the patient at the center of the model of nursing care led her to incorporate NShore Patient Advocates, LLC in 2011, serving clients throughout the northern suburbs of Chicago.

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