The Medical Professional Worth Paying Every Penny For
Today’s Two-Minute Retirement Solution is about one of the things that keeps me firmly rooted in reality, and it comes from my better half, Eileen.
Eileen’s a hospice nurse. Her nightly tales about patients and their families (or lack of family when it comes to decision making) offer a daily dose of reality about the back side of our golden years.
One thing she’s very hot about right now is what’s called a “medical advocate.”
This is someone with a medical background who acts as an intermediary between you and the doctors and hospitals.
They function as a decision maker and advisor to ensure that any recommended procedures are in your best interest and add to your quality of life – not just to the balance sheets of a long-term care facility, hospital or medical group.
And please – before you start bombarding me with emails insisting that not every doctor or hospital puts their interests before those of their patients – hear me out.
I know it’s not always the case. But based on the stories Eileen relays about totally unnecessary procedures done when patients are unable to speak for themselves (or if their families don’t know any better or can’t stop them), these situations often get out of control.
I’m talking about full MRIs and CAT scans on terminally ill patients whose medical treatments have been discontinued…
Pacemakers implanted in 95-year-olds who’ve been bedridden for years – folks who are totally unresponsive and have only days or weeks to live…
And trips to the ER for treatments that will make absolutely no difference in the quality of life or length of time the person will live.
I don’t know anyone who wants to end up in a situation where they can’t speak for themselves and becomes the victim of an overly aggressive treatment.
In fact, given the choice, I’m sure virtually all of us would like to have an experienced medical professional looking out for us and ensuring that our well-being is the only focus of the care we’re receiving (and that our “end of life” wishes are respected).
But, unfortunately, a family member isn’t necessarily the best person for this job.
It’s hard enough to lose a loved one, and it’s even harder for the one left to say, “No, don’t do any more.”
You can relieve your loved ones of that huge, painful burden by making the necessary arrangements now.
None of us want to think about reaching the point where we won’t be able to speak for ourselves, but it will be the reality for many of us.
If you want certainty that your end-of-life wishes will be carried out, appointing a medical advocate may be the only way of assuring that. And it will make it so much easier for those you leave behind.