caregivers

What Aretha Franklin Can Teach Us About Communication

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This post asks the question: Under what circumstances do we go to the wall for our patient-clients? And when we need to go there, what’s the best approach? Scenario: Your patient-client checks in for a medical appointment and the receptionist is rude during the process. Do you say or do anything? And if so – how and what?  Scenario: As you sit by your patient’s hospital bedside, a nurse comes in to change a dressing already wearing gloves. You ask her to wash her hands and put on new gloves and she cops an attitude. Do you insist? And if …

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All That – But Missing Your Bag of Chips?

Over the years, I’ve met, discussed, emailed, pleaded, and thrown my hands up at (probably) hundreds of advocates who have never truly become professional, independent, practicing advocates. They might have told you they were/are advocates. They SAID they were in business. But their efforts were half-hearted. They didn’t ever ACTIVELY go into business. Instead they joined an organization, or set up a website, or printed business cards, or told their friends they were in business… they might even have listed themselves in a directory or two… But it was all very half-hearted. Why? Because of that idea that they weren’t …

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Families Need You: A Thanksgiving Opportunity

Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season are right around the corner. Smart health and patient advocates and care managers can find this season to be a golden opportunity to expand their reach in many positive ways. The holidays are family times. Generations come together. Inevitably someone is facing a health and/or health system challenge. Aunt Joan has a new cancer diagnosis and hasn’t even considered a second opinion. Dad needs help sorting out his meds, while daughter Francine questions about whether he’s taking the right drugs at the right times, or whether the prescriptions he’s taking are causing …

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All We Really Need to Know About Being Good Advocates We Learned in Kindergarten

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As children across the US and Canada start kindergarten this time of the year, I’m reminded of Robert Fulghum’s book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, a classic, published more than 30 years ago. I’ve actually written about advocates and the kindergarten principles before, years ago, as applied to some real negativity we were experiencing as a profession then. But today’s piece is updated, much more positive, and contains some further advice not shared then. So much of this kindergarten wisdom is appropriate to our successful running of an independent advocacy or care management practice – …

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How Does a Patient Choose the Best Advocate to Hire?

I’ve been working on updating the AdvoConnection Directory website because it was time, because search engines look favorably upon updates. And because my not-frequent-enough review of the site’s analytics produced a big surprise! A surprise I’ll share with you here today. To be clear – no changes were made to the actual search and profile areas – those all belong to our listed advocates who make those changes themselves. Instead, I edited and updated the support pages – everything from the homepage to the About Us page to the “how to choose and interview an advocate” page. For some background: …

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Johnny Carson, Game Shows, and a Lesson about Trust

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Back in the 1950s, into the 1960s, a game show called Who Do You Trust? aired where couples were asked questions, and one had to “trust” the other to answer it (or not!). If you remember the show (some of us do) you may also remember that Edgar Bergen (yes, Candace Bergen’s father) was the MC for the show. However, what you may not remember is that a year or two into the show, Bergen was replaced by Johnny Carson – who often “helped” the couples get the right answers. He helped them – well – TRUST. The irony of …

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When Granny Doesn’t Want to Cross the Street

You have probably heard that old joke about a Boy Scout who was determined to help a little old lady cross the street. After a number of attempts and iterations, he finally picked her up and carried her to the other side of the street, set her down on the sidewalk, and left, having completed his good deed. But the joke was really on him – because the lady had no interest in getting to the other side. She had wanted to stay right where she was. We frequently receive requests to take Granny across the street. They come in …

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