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Questions to ask when appointing a health advocate

Older adults sometimes appoint a person to act as an advocate to help them make health care decisions. Typically, the person is a family member or friend, but it can also be a paid professional.

Pulse of NY, a Wantagh-based patient-education group, has a list of questions you should ask a potential advocate. Among the questions for a friend or family member:

* Are you willing to follow my preferences even if others disagree?

* Do you understand my wishes, values and treatment goals?

* Can I trust you to keep my information private?

* If you are choosing a professional, make sure to ask these questions:

* What is your fee?

* Are you on-call 24/7 or do you work specific hours?

* Do you have any beliefs or restrictions that may affect my care plan?

For the full list of questions, go to

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