Dealing with a health condition can be frightening and extremely stressful, whether you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, heart disease or any disorder that affects your quality of life.
But advances in treatments and medications allow many people to live long and fulfilling lives despite their illnesses. Still, managing care can be confusing and overwhelming to many people.
What is a health historian?
The good news is that you don’t have to go it alone. Selecting a spouse, a close friend, an adult child or other family member as your health historian can provide practical benefits as well as peace of mind. While it’s not an “official” position, a health historian acts as an encyclopedia for your:
- Personal medical history
- Family’s medical history
- Health conditions
- Treatment history
There are many benefits to having someone else with this knowledge, especially if incapacitated by an illness or accident. Health historians are also extremely helpful for families with a history of dementia.
Speaking up on your behalf
While a health historian can be a vital advocate for your care, designating them as your medical power of attorney gives them certain legal rights in Florida. Having someone you trust in these roles allows them to:
- Discuss your current and past health history with doctors
- List the health care providers you see as well as the reasons
- Give doctors a complete list of your medications
- Make health care decisions based on your wishes if you can’t make them yourself
Other benefits to consider
Health historians not only provide a fountain of knowledge for your medical care, but they can be a sounding board over treatment plans and options, which can seem overwhelming.
They can also help you plan for future health care decisions and consider estate planning options that outline your wishes. Having someone who cares about you and understands your life and health care situation can help take some of the weight off your shoulders.