How to Find a Healthcare Advocate
Choosing A Healthcare Fiduciary
Now that you are motivated to have legal documents prepared to designate a medical decision-maker in the event of your incapacity you might find yourself asking “whom should I name?” This question is not uncommon especially for people who:
- are not married or
- are divorced or
- whose spouse is deceased or
- who have no children or
- are an only child
There is a solution: a healthcare fiduciary or, healthcare advocate. The healthcare fiduciary can be someone that you compensate to handle the responsibility of supervising your medical care and making healthcare decisions. This individual can be a professional with education and work experience in the fields of social work, medicine or, geriatrics. For example:
- a social worker
- geriatric care manager
- professional guardian or
- a patient care coordinator
Here are some tips for beginning the process:
- Interview more than one person as your prospective healthcare fiduciary. Ask the person about their knowledge of medical issues and end-of-life care. Evaluate the person’s communication skills and their level of compassion.
- Request that the person provide you with a client reference you can call.
- Inquire how the healthcare fiduciary charges for their services (i.e. hourly rate charges).
- Ask who will cover for that person when they are on vacation.
- Request a written agreement that identifies their duties and responsibilities to you and how he/she charges.
- Determine how often you and the healthcare fiduciary will communicate and/or visit while you are healthy. If it is just a telephone call, ask if you will be charged and at what rate.
Once you have selected a healthcare fiduciary, make an appointment to meet with me, your trusted advisor through life, to create your Designation of Healthcare Surrogate and your Declaration of Funeral Designee (that person will make and carry out your funeral arrangements in the event you have not made them prior to your demise). Remember: The benefits of having these documents is that you choose who will assist you when you are incapacitated, you maintain privacy in your life as well as avoid a court supervised guardianship. Don’t delay let’s create your plan today!