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8 Ways to Advocate for Your Parent with Their Health Care Team

As a caregiver for your parent, it is probable you are communicating with their physicians and are active in their daily medical regimen. As a result, it's critical that you develop a healthy system for asking questions you need to get the information necessary to assist your parent on their healthcare journey.

One of the most important duties as a caregiver is to advocate, when needed, for your parent with their doctors and medical staff. As their advocate, you are the eyes and ears at your loved one's doctor's appointment to take notes, ask pertinent questions, and follow up to get clarity on anything that is not understood. While it's great to be there as a helping hand for your parent, it's also crucial to step back and let them speak for themselves. The best way to nurture the trust in your relationship is to learn when to speak and when to let your parent take the reins.

Reflecting on my caregiver journey for my mother, from her pre-MS diagnosis to now, I have remained her advocate throughout, but I eventually had to alter my conduct with her medical team. Over time, I learned the value of being more respectful of my mother's wishes and arrived at a consensus of the best plan for her.