Choices in Healthcare Checklist

Having up-to-date medical information helps you to manage health care and medications and is crucial to have in case of an emergency.

Keeping your doctor current will also help in managing your health needs.

  • Primary Emergency Contact (name, relationship and phone number)
  • Secondary Emergency Contact (name, relationship and phone number)

YOU HAVE A CHOICE: Do your homework BEFORE crisis

Ask yourself

1. Living Will/Advance Care Directive:

Who you want contacted if you are unable to speak for yourself: (name and contact information of person who will know your wishes and have a copy of important documents)

2. Home Care Agency or Personal Care Services (PCS)

Who do you want to come in to help you if you are having trouble with “activities of daily living” (aka ADL)? (dressing, cleaning, bathing, cooking, shopping, paying bills)

3. Home Health Agency:

Who do you want to help when you are healing from an illness, procedure or operation? Ask your physician if Home Health could be ordered before a major procedure.

4. Hospice Agency:

Who do you want to help you and your loved ones when you begin to focus on quality of life when facing serious illness or decline in health?

5. Attorney:

Who do you want to represent you or your loved one in case you need outside reinforcements or an unbiased third party

6. Guardian or Elder Care Advisor:

If you are caring for someone and are a current guardian or POA- Who do you want to represent you

7. Healthcare Insurance Agent:

Who is the person you can call to answer questions regarding coverage and changes in your healthcare?

8. Real Estate Agent * Estate Manager * Financial Advisor * CPA

The choices you make today can effect tomorrow

Choosing the right agency:

What makes a “good” community or healthcare company?

Below are some questions to ask:

What is the staff response time?

Timely response to a call or situation is critical. Communication during this time is important not only for the family but for the supporting entity who surrounds and cares for the patient.

Is there a full staff to cover all disciplines of care?

Look for a company who staffs all disciplines full time rather than on an as needed basis. If a company is too small, they may not be able to afford a full staff. However, if they are too big, you may not get the personal care due to the high volume of patients.

What is the staff turnover rate?

If a company takes care of their employees, that care WILL be passed on to the families the staff serves.

What are the company education requirements?

Inquire about Joint Commission* and other educational training. There are requirements and organizations that hold higher certifications in standards of care and education in the healthcare industry.

How is the care management?

Caregiving is about caring for the patient AND the family. It is also about coordinating care to make sure all care is not over lapping or over looked.

*Joint Commission = an optional certification “Inspiring the highest level of care for patients with life-limiting illnesses and their families.” *


For more information and classes:

Justice Alliance for Vulnerable Adults (JAVA)

Meet every first Friday of the month