You are here: Home Day to Day Living Team,Your: ...
Information about all aspects of finances affected by a serious health condition. Includes income sources such as work, investments, and private and government disability programs, and expenses such as medical bills, and how to deal with financial problems.
Information about all aspects of health care from choosing a doctor and treatment, staying safe in a hospital, to end of life care. Includes how to obtain, choose and maximize health insurance policies.
Answers to your practical questions such as how to travel safely despite your health condition, how to avoid getting infected by a pet, and what to say or not say to an insurance company.

Team,Your: Medical, Financial and Legal Advisors; Caregivers/Family/Friends

Next »


Living with a medical condition involves expert advisers from various fields as well as the assistance and support of family, friends and others.

It helps to think of your doctor(s), other professionals, family, friends and other helpers as a team.

Make it the best team you can.

  • Planning and research are essential when putting together the most effective team. When it comes to your personal team, see: How To Choose, Set Goals For, And Coordinate Personal Team Members
  • After completing the amount of research with which you are comfortable, trust your gut instincts. It's your life and health. 
  • Your needs are likely to change so you need to keep reconsidering what your real needs are, and who is best to help fill them. Team members may come and go -- both on a professional and personal level.

Keep in mind that you are the leader of the team and final decisions about your life are yours to make.. If you prefer, you're the captain, the chief, the chief executive officer. Assign roles and tasks. 

Keep team members to date. (For a system for keeping doctors up to date, click here. To keep friends up to date, click here.)

If you're not up to the job of choosing or coordinating your team, ask a close family member or friend to help. Likewise, if you don't want to make decisions in certain areas, ask someone else to be responsible.

Team members to consider include the following:,

  • For medical care:  
    • A pharmacist can provide services other than simply dispensing medications. Pharmacists are often an over looked information source. (Choosing A Pharmacist)
    • It is helpful to have a friend or family member to act as patient advocate to go with you to important doctor appointments. It is important to have an advocate with you if you are in a hospital.  Professional patient advocates are available if needed.
    • Patient navigators have expertise and training to help you navigate through the medical system.
    • A health care proxy: a person to make medical decisions for you if you become unable to speak for yourself. (For a general discussion about health care proxies and how they fit into the group of documents known as Advance Healthcare Directives, click here.)
    • In addition to helping with mental health, a social worker can help find care you cannot otherwise afford.
  • For your well being:
    • A nutritionist. Keeping up with the latest nutrition information can be hard enough, but when dietary changes are needed as the result of a health condition, knowing what, when, and how to eat can become downright confusing. A nutritionist can help you sort through all the information and come up with a diet that suits your tastes, your schedule, and your health condition.
    • A mental health counselor. Mental health counselors can provide invaluable assistance when dealing with issues such as depression, stress, and anxiety. They can also be helpful if you want to stop work and go onto disability.
    • Support groups and/or one-on-one buddies. In addition to receiving support from others who are dealing with similar situations as yours, support group members and one-on-one buddies can provide valuable information about treatments, health care providers, and available community resources. 
    • A life coach can help can help keep your life on track.
  • Financial specialists 
    • A good accountant may be a valuable member of your team -- if you need one.
    • A good financial advisor can be helpful. However, since the term "financial planner" has no legal definition, just about anyone can call him or herself a "financial planner" or "financial advisor." Some of those who do are really nothing more than financial product salespeople trying to earn commissions. (For information about choosing a financial planner, click here.)
    • Professional Health Claims Assistance can take over if you are not up to the task of handling your health claims, or have a problem with a claim that you have been unable resolve.
    • An  insurance broker to help assure that you do not have extraordinary, uninsured losses.
  • Your personal/home life
    • Caregivers. Your chosen caregiver(s), generally a close family member or friend, should be capable of providing both emotional and physical care. Just because a person volunteers to be a caregiver, doesn't mean you have to accept him or her in the role. (for guidelines to help keep caregivers from burning out, click here. For information about entering into a contract with a caregiver, click here.)
    • Your children are also part of your team. Be sure to tell them about your health condition. They'll know something is up, and will likely assume it's because of them unless you tell them. Also, let them know your needs to the extent that they can understand them. Of course, you also have to consider their needs.
    • Other family members and friends. Think of everyone in your life as potentially part of your team. Assign tasks and roles. Let people know what limits you want to set. (For information about choosing family members and friends to be part of the team, click here.)
  • The legal aspects of your life. Many columns and articles offering advice about insurance, benefits, financial or other problems related to the law often end with "Consult your own attorney for specific details." Your reaction to such a statement is probably similar to ours, "What own attorney?" Attorneys don't have to be expensive. In fact, many work for free. For information about choosing a lawyer, click here

NOTE: It helps to take a moment every now and then to acknowledge your team members. Let them know how thankful you are for their being there for you, and for doing what they have done. How to express your thankfulness is up to you. Even a simple statement acknowledging all the person has done for you, and how important he or she has been to you, is helpful. Also consider giving the person an inexpensive gift or writing a note. In this age of e mails, a handwritten thank you note can be particularly meaningful to the person who receives it..

Please share how this information is useful to you. 0 Comments


Post a Comment Have something to add to this topic? Contact Us.

Characters remaining:

  • Allowed markup: <a> <i> <b> <em> <u> <s> <strong> <code> <pre> <p>
    All other tags will be stripped.