With the winter season in full force and low temperatures spreading across the country, many people head to warmer climates to escape the cold. These snowbirds often flock to states like Arizona where they can enjoy sunshine filled days and warm temperatures; but, moving to a new state, especially as a retiree, may come with many challenges.

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Swapping care from state to state

When relocating to a new state, it is important for individuals to make sure they have a thorough healthcare plan. When care is essential to a senior’s health and happiness, it must be provided wherever they may go, and there are many solutions to successfully transitioning healthcare services and providers.

Janie Dalrymple, RN, BCPA, CEOLD, CLNC, is owner of Your Patient’s Advocate.

Scheduling a checkup with your doctor before leaving home and obtaining copies of up-to-date medical records will help the new providers in Arizona understand the medical situation and treatment plan. This will assist in ensuring the patient is treated properly and is in good hands.

One of the most difficult factors individuals face when relocating is not understanding what their health insurance covers. Insurance plans may differ from state to state, so knowing your benefits before you move will help for an easy transition. Contact your provider before you relocate to understand how your insurance will act in another state from where it was issued.

How a patient care advocate assists in a smooth transition

A patient care advocate is a valuable resource for snowbirds. As people age, it may become increasingly difficult to handle the logistics of a move. An advocate can help people navigate the process of moving and ease this transition.

Patient care advocates offer individuals guidance, support and knowledge to ensure they are getting the best care possible on their healthcare journey. Depending on one’s needs, patient care advocates attend physician appointments, review medications and medical records, set up medication trays and assist with hospitalization and/or care relocation. A patient care advocate can also help people find healthcare providers in their new location and ensure that their medical records are transferred to the new healthcare team.

When seeking an advocate, patients and families should interview the expert to ensure they are knowledgeable and experienced in the healthcare system and to be the voice and support they need.

Author: Janie Dalrymple RN has over 18 years of experience in nursing, including hospital-based bedside care, home health and the outpatient clinic setting. She is the owner of Your Patient’s Advocate. For more information, visit https://yourpatientsadvocate.com.