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Be an advocate for your loved ones in hospitals and nursing homes

Don't be afraid to speak up for your friends and family members in long-term care facilities.

If you have a family member or friend in a hospital or long-term care facility, be an advocate. If you have concerns about their lack of progress, look for symptoms that indicate something is wrong. Be observant of volume and color if body fluids are being collected; of abnormal swelling of abdomen, legs, and feet; if diet is appropriate; unusual pain; and their mental state.

Remember, you know the patient as a person and the medical staff and/or caretakers are treating their patient.

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Do not hesitate to speak to the staff or ask to meet with the doctor, along with the patient, if your intuition is telling you, your relative or friend is not recovering in a timely manner.

Be an advocate. You do not want to regret not voicing your concerns if there is a problem. Your relative or friend will welcome your care and concern for their complete recovery.

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Vera Reiner, Baltimore

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