Becoming a Resource for Your Clients - Helping Clients Who Have Low Health Literacy

Dear :

We chose the healthcare field to help others whether we work in a medical office, for a caregiving agency, in a hospital, care community, or other position. We see patients and clients every day who struggle to understand a diagnosis, fail to understand the importance of taking prescription medications, or are upset about a family member placing them in an assisted living community.

We want to help family caregivers and care recipients but know that there are professional boundaries that we should not cross.

What now?  How can we help?

As a caregiving advocate, consultant, and speaker, I support health and care professionals to have a broader understanding of family caregiving concerns. Some family members are in the role of guardian or medical power of attorney and don’t understand their responsibilities. Others are in constant conflict with other family members or the client. Some family caregivers are beyond feeling overwhelmed and caregiving is making them emotionally and physically ill.

You see family caregiving struggles every day in your work.

  • My 20-year history in the field of aging, healthcare, and as a professional fiduciary set the groundwork for me to support health and care professionals to raise personal standards to better serve family caregivers and family care receivers.  We all know serving clients and meeting expectations is not easy.  There are days when it seems impossible.  

  • My programming offers support and information to help health and care professionals manage the unexpected.

  • My family caregiver programming helps caregivers understand basic caregiving responsibilities and challenges.

  • I speak to health and care groups about navigating the challenges of families who are challenging.

Check out my article that provides tips about ways you can help clients who have difficulty understanding information about medical and daily care—especially those with memory loss. Patience is a virtue!

Healthcare: Caregiving Advocacy Supports Older Adult Health and Financial Literacy

Health and financial literacy represent an ability to receive and evaluate information. A caregiving advocate coordinates with providers and older adults to ensure preventative and ongoing medical care and manage life transitions as the result of aging. Sixty percent of adults, age 65 and over, (before a diagnosis of memory loss) have basic or below average health literacy (1). A diagnosis of memory loss or Alzheimer’s disease results in subtle early difficulties and an eventual total inability to receive, evaluate information, and make appropriate decisions. Research confirms that the presence of the APOE 4 Allele, a genetic risk factor of Alzheimer’s disease, is associated with lower health and financial literacy (2).

The other component of health and financial literacy—important to caregiving advocates, family caregivers, and care recipients advocating for themselves—is the ability to confirm understanding of information both provided and received. The traditional sender-receiver model of communication is successful in achieving this goal. The caregiving advocate is able to increase knowledge and support action toward positive health and financial behaviors through these discussions. The caregiving advocate is sensitive to the life transitions of retirement, experiencing declines in health, and mourning losses.

Looking for more?

  • Here's a link to my first "On Demand" webinar, "Why Do I Need a Care Manager" Click Here to register and choose a time that works for you.  This isn't a normal "run of the mill webinar"-it's better!  The length is about 22 minutes and you can watch any time of the day.  This information may be helpful for your clients.

  • Join my Professional Facebook Group to collaborate with colleagues and ask questions. I post into the group each week.

  • Subscribe to my FREE Professional library of articles, podcasts, and videos.

Questions? Reply to this email and let me know how I might be of service.  Please forward this email to colleagues and others who might find the information valuable.

In gratitude and service for partnering with you to serve and educate family caregivers,

Pamela D. Wilson MS, BS/BA, CG, CSA
Caregiving Expert, Advocate, and Speaker
(303) 810-1816

Pamela D. Wilson, MS, BS/BA, CG, CSA, a National Certified Guardian and Certified Senior Advisor, is a caregiving and elder care expert, advocate, and speaker. Pamela offers family caregivers programming and support to navigate the challenges of providing, navigating, and planning for care. She guides professionals practicing in estate planning, elder and probate law, and financial planning to create plans to address unexpected concerns identified in her past role as a professional fiduciary. Healthcare professionals are supported by Pamela’s expertise to increase responsiveness and sensitivity to the extensive range of care challenges faced by care recipients and caregivers.

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Pamela D. Wilson, P.O. Box 18349, Golden, CO 80402 888-393-7757, United States

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