What Is An Advocate?

An advocate is someone who communicates on behalf of the patient if the patient can’t do so effectively (i.e. due to dementia, age, sickness) to help improve the quality of care. The advocate can be a member of the family, a friend, or a healthcare provider.


When Is An Advocate Needed?

Here are a few scenarios in which an advocate can be utilized:
  • The patient is unable to make decisions on his/her own.
  • The patient asks for help in making decisions.
  • The patient has been diagnosed with a terminal or chronic condition.
  • The patient needs medical information that may be difficult to obtain.
  • The patient has received conflicting instructions from his/her providers.
  • The patient has become frustrated with his/her quality of care.

Who Should Advocate For Me?

Can a patient advocate for his or herself?

Absolutely! - You are your own best advocate for your health care if you are able to make decisions on your own.

I would like someone to advocate for me. What should I do?

If you would like someone to advocate on your behalf:

  • Choose someone you trust that can communicate well.
  • Decide what you would like help with and what you would like to handle on your own.
  • Decide how involved you would like your advocate to be (attend any tests, appointments, etc.).