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Help me think about a business idea I have...


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So, one thing that I have become rather interested in and passionate about is elder care. I've posted before that I took over care for my grandfather when he became seriously ill and got him home with hospice, where he passed away. I then became my grandmother's agent. She lives in an assisted living facility, but I managed doctor's appointments, financial matters, taxes, etc. I have provided care to her through at least five hospitalizations. 


I'm a lawyer by training. I'm at a career crossroads (posted about this recently as a I got turned down for a dream job), and I'm trying to think outside of the box. 


What I would like to do is to be someone to help families navigate when a loved one is reaching the phase of life when they can't manage on their own. I'd like to help families have the kind of conversations that they need to have. Conversations about death and dying. About what is truly important to the person. About how much freedom the person is willing to sacrifice to ensure they are safe, and when it's not worth it any more.


[An example: my grandmother has made it clear that she doesn't want to be alive if she cannot walk. She may change her mind about that later, but for now that's her position. So she has had several falls that result in painful fractures. She would rather endure falls (which are impossible to totally prevent short of removing all freedom of movement) than use a wheelchair. We continue to talk about it, but for now, she'd rather deal with a cracked tail bone than use a wheelchair. We minimize danger to her as much as possible - she's checked on at least every 2 hours, has emergency alert, etc - but ultimately the ability to walk is very tied to her self-worth.]


I want to educate families about what to expect when their loved one begins developing dementia. About what hospital delirium is. About what hospice is and what they can provide. About what hospital stays are like for the elderly.


I want to make sure that families have the legal documents in place to protect loved one's assets and be able to care for them properly.


I want to develop a relationship with them and continue to be a resource to them as the person's status changes.


Now, I know a lot of this sounds like social work, and I suppose it is.  But there's some law mixed in there. As well as some basic medical stuff. I talked to a PCP friend of mine, and she told me she would LOVE to have someone with this wheelhouse of knowledge that she refer patients and their families to. She simply doesn't have the time, and doesn't get reimbursed, to have these kinds of in-depth conversations.


I'd love some feedback from the all-knowing hive.  :-)

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I have found a couple of "patient advocacy" graduate certificate programs and there is the beginnings of a professional organization for patient advocates, it sounds a little like what you're talking about.

Edited by JodiSue
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