Editor’s Note: One of the things that iask is focused on is our physical health and wellness. In that context, however, is the important aspect of having a support network when we do fall ill or unexpectedly face a major health crisis. This week we want to spotlight one of our Member’s businesses IHASCares, Inc. that specializes in this important goal. None of us is an island—we cannot go it alone! IHAS manager & marketing director Candice Burke gives us some great insights on this important subject and provides 3 tips you should be aware of today.
Let’s face it, in the world that we live in today, women have a lot going on. We are mothers, wives, sisters, executives, teachers, care-givers, and daughters. We’re running companies, working late hours, raising children and servicing our communities. We are everything to everyone, and as a consequence, our emotional and as a result physical health is suffering.
Cancer, obesity, heart disease and diabetes are running rampant in the African American community. As a result, more African American women are faced with the reality of having to become caregivers for themselves and for other loved ones. But you don’t have to face these challenges alone, and you don’t have to worry about burdening family and friends. There are several things that can be done to minimize the burden of having to care for yourself or a loved one when they have become ill. Below are (3) three tips that can make managing your challenges a little more bearable.
1) Tip #1: Request your Medical Records- Gather all medical documents that you may need to manage your situation. Most people forget that you as a patient are allowed to ask for a copy of physician notes, lab results, or xrays. This type of information can usually be requested directly from your physician and specialists (some may charge a small fee to obtain this information), and you should ALWAYS have your own copy to take with you to appointments. It is also good to read through and ask questions about what may be listed on certain reports. So much is said when you are with a physician, and it can be easy to forget some important information he/she may have mentioned. Get a file folder or mini file cabinet to store all of your information.
2) Tip #2: Make YOU a priority- When an illness is present in your life, you may find yourself bombarded with people who mean well, but who could possible drain you more than help you. Learn that your first priority is YOU. When you get on a plane, who is the first person the flight attendant always says you should give oxygen to in case of an emergency? That’s right, YOU and THEN others. If you aren’t okay, there won’t be any way that you can help others or yourself. So take time. Say no to things that are overwhelming you. Take a bubble bath, go for a walk, turn of the cell phone, blackberry or iphone. Log out of facebook.
3) Tip #3: Ask for Help- Most women who find themselves fulfilling the role of caregiver or who suddenly find themselves managing their own illness, have problems with asking for help. There are a variety of community resources available to assist individuals who have just become caregivers, or who find themselves overwhelmed by their medical situations. Case Management companies are excellent resources for the recently diagnosed, or for a new caregiver. These companies usually have registered nurses and social workers who’s job is to make your life easier. They can assist you with organizing and understanding insurance documents, scheduling appointments, and coordinating transportation to doctor’s offices, helping you determine the best questions to ask of your medical team, staying on top of all medications and they may even be able to save you some money (and with gas prices as they are, I’m sure everyone can appreciate more money in their pocket).
The point is, you are not alone and there are resources available to help you. Take time to see which of the solution mentioned above you can implement in your own life. And don’t delay. You are worth it!!!
You can contact Candice or learn more about her company:
Candice N. Burke
Manager of Marketing/Business Development IHAS Care Management Services (IHASCares) “I Have a Solution…And now so do you!”
14502 Greenview Drive, Suite 410
Laurel, MD 20708