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Question DetailsAsked on 6/13/2013

I need to find a patient advocate for my father who lives in North Fort Myers, FL

I need someone who can check in on my 87 year old father occasionally (who still lives independently), and at a moments notice, be able to go to the hospital to be my eyes and ears. I would expect that this person would be able to navigate the hospital bureaucracy, and to find out what's going on and what the prognosis is.

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I can't help you with a specific name, but here are hints on how to locate one - likely to be two different people, as health advocates is a specialized job, though you might find a company who has both home aides and patient advocates:

1) your local hospital's patient advocate / patient care ombudsman office will have a list of such individuals

2) almost all counties have a federally-funded elder-services program which puts out a booklet (or web lists) on elder-care resources and provider companies - check with county elder care program or health department - a good thing to have anyway

3) contact his health care insurance company - they sometimes maintain a list of in-home care and patient advocate services

4) google the following search term - a number of resources and elder support comapnies are listed - elder care guide, Ft Myers, FL

5) for advocates, google this search phrase and lots come up - patient advocate, Ft Myers, FL

6) also for advocates, here is an association with area directory search -

6) Angie's List has a home help list for your area here - join and read reviews - home

7) here is info on FLorida health help from a state health care protection organization -

8) AARP also has excellent online articles and info on helping an elderly but still independent parent

9) I would STRONGLY suggest getting a medical alert panic pendant (goes around the neck) for him - links through phone system or alarm system to call for help - contact your phone company, home security companies, or medic alert companies.

10) set up a daily or twice-daily communication system - easy if he spends a lot of time on the web or likes to talk on the phone - just call or eMail once or twice a day to him with a cartoon, joke, reminescence, or whatever and arrange with him to reply back with at least a word or few every time. If you have family photos, this takes a bit of time, but you could scan a bunch at one time, then eMail him one a day with a few wrods remembering the scene, and askinghim what he remembers about it. Good mental exercise and enjoyable for him too. If not computer savvy or forgetful, harder to do - may require daily phone calls.

11) if he gets a newspaper, arrange with a friendly RELIABLE neighbor, for a nominal fee, to check every morning to make sure papers are not stacking up. Could pay a RELIABLE neighbor kid to do it daily and text or eMail you every day that they have checked it or seen him out and about and that papers are being taken in. I would NOT do this without his agreeing to it.

12) extreme case would be to install a webcam (with his WRITTEN permission) in someplace like the kitchen or showing his favorite TV-watching chair, and fast-forward through it every night to be sure you see him moving around daily.

13) install (with his permission) motion sensors in places like by front door and in a hall where he would normally pass by a few times a day but not constantly be in range of the sensor, connected to a security monitoring system. Systems exist to route activity notifications with date and time direct to your computer from the security company, or to provide a webpage maintained by the security company showing that activity. Companies like Tyco Security can do this. More commonly done for businesses and storage facilities, but would work for you too, though probably $50-100 or so a month. You can also buy web based sensors that would eMail you every time it detects motion. Similar systems can be connected to a light switch to detect if on or off.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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