Are you having back pain with any of the following?
We understand that you are experiencing one or more of the health issues that might be impacting your back pain.
We recommend that you discuss these health issues with your doctor before proceeding with this program.
Once you are cleared by your doctor to do this program, we hope it helps you find relief from your back pain.
Being a caregiver is a very special role with its own health challenges for the person providing care. We offer tips and strategies so that you can do this important job while protecting your health and well being.
As a caregiver, one of your most critical responsibilities is making sure that your loved one receives the medical care needed. You may have to speak on your loved one's behalf to the doctor and other health care providers and help make decisions about your loved one's ongoing care.
In addition to keeping medical appointments, it is important to be well informed about your loved one's condition and communicate effectively with doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and other care providers. You must know when and how best to communicate and how to find the care that is needed at the right time. You may also be the primary person responsible for communicating about your loved one's health status to the rest of your family.
A patient advocate is someone who performs the following services:
An effective patient advocate will:
Most patient advocates are professionals who work for a health organization, government program, or health-related business. However, training is not required to be a patient advocate, and a caregiver/family member often will assume this role.
As your loved one's caregiver, you may be the most effective patient advocate. You observe your loved one every day and may notice symptoms and behaviors that a professional advocate would not have the opportunity to see.
In your role as patient advocate, it is essential to keep track of your loved one's status and behavior, including:
It is best to keep a written record of all this information.
When a decision needs to be made about your loved one's care, you may either make the choice yourself or bring the matter to your family for discussion. Be aware of your loved one's concerns and preferences. Allow your loved one to speak for him or herself as much as possible.
As caregiver/patient advocate, you are likely to be the person responsible for overseeing your loved one's use of medication. Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind:
Seeing a health care provider is an opportunity for you to clarify your questions and concerns about your loved one's condition. When you bring your loved one to the doctor (or other health care provider), it is important to come prepared so that you will have all the information you need when you leave.
The following are guidelines for getting the most out of a medical appointment:
The following are guidelines for establishing and maintaining cordial, respectful relationships with your loved one's health care team:
A caregiver is also often the designated health care agent, also known as a surrogate decision maker, for a loved one. To be a person's health care agent, your loved one must have signed a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care or an Advance Health Care Directive, specifying the types of care he or she does or does not wish to receive in the event of severe or terminal illness and naming you as the health care agent.
A health care agent has the authority to make medical decisions on behalf of another person when that person is no longer capable of making his or her own decisions. Such decisions may include:
A health care agent's decisions must be based on what is known of the loved one's wishes, whether those wishes are documented in the Advance Health Care Directive or have been expressed in conversation.
When the loved one's wishes are not known, a health care agent will normally consult with the loved one's health care team about the disadvantages, risks, and benefits of different treatments or care options.
As caregiver/health care agent, you may choose to make decisions together with other family members. If family members disagree about what to do, the final decision must rest with you, based on what you believe would be your loved one's wishes. However, when there is no urgent need to make a decision quickly, it is usually best to take your time, think matters through slowly, and try to bring family members into agreement.
You are the liaison between your family and your loved one's health care team. As such, you are responsible for communicating to other family members about your loved one's health status on an ongoing basis. However, you should designate at least one other person in your family to be an alternate contact person for your loved one's health care providers.
You are responsible for deciding when and if your loved one can no longer be cared for at home and should be transferred to a nursing home or hospital. If your loved one has a terminal diagnosis, you will decide where his or her final days will be spent, and when (or if) to call for the spiritual support of a clergy person who can come to your loved one's bedside.
All of these are very delicate and emotionally fraught decisions that will affect other members of your family as well as you and your loved one. Be prepared for some family members to disagree with you. Always keep in mind what you believe your loved one would choose, rather than what you would choose for yourself in the same situation.
If you have an emergency medical condition, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. An emergency medical condition is any of the following: (1) a medical condition that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that you could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in serious jeopardy to your health or body functions or organs; (2) active labor when there isn't enough time for safe transfer to a Plan hospital (or designated hospital) before delivery, or if transfer poses a threat to your (or your unborn child's) health and safety, or (3) a mental disorder that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity such that either you are an immediate danger to yourself or others, or you are not immediately able to provide for, or use, food, shelter, or clothing, due to the mental disorder.
This information is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of specific medical advice or care you receive from your physician or other health care professional. If you have persistent health problems, or if you have additional questions, please consult with your doctor. If you have questions or need more information about your medication, please speak to your pharmacist. Kaiser Permanente does not endorse the medications or products mentioned. Any trade names listed are for easy identification only.