Eduardo, 88, lives with his wife, daughter and her middle school aged children in an apartment building in Santa Monica. He was recently hospitalized due to a blood clot in his abdomen and has severe swelling in his legs, which makes walking difficult. Eduardo relies on his daughter, Catalina, for direct support and his family for emotional and social support. “Catalina said that she is feeling overwhelmed and stressed” explains coach Priscilla. “She also manages her mother’s medical appointments and care. I encouraged her to try to walk or get some time to herself every day. The next time I checked in she let me know that she had been successful in getting some of her other family members to help, and that a friend has agreed to stay with her parents while she runs her own errands. It’s important that caregivers are supported as otherwise they can’t provide good care to the patient.”
Priscilla also spoke to Catalina about an advance directive, and learned that while they had the forms they had not filled them in. Priscilla explained their importance and during a follow-up visit checked on the situation again. “This time Eduardo let me know that Catalina had filled out the information and they’d been sent to the appropriate party. Sometimes people just need a gentle reminder.”
Partners in Care Foundation uses “patient activation” models of health coaching to provide tailored support dependent on a patient’s knowledge, skills, ability, and willingness to manage his or her own health and care. Some patients are self-starters and all they need is connection to resources, while others need information, motivation and follow-up to close the gap. Here is the ninth of a series of stories about patients who have received health coaching over recent months. All names have been changed to protect patient confidentiality.