Health issues can be all-consuming at the best of times, but especially when you’re unsure whether or not you can access the help you require. Maybe you’re disabled, maybe you have a learning disability, maybe you just live far away from a doctor’s office – there’s something in the way, and it’s making your life harder.
However, we all know that healthcare needs to be accessible for everyone; knowing you can get the care you need at the prices you can afford, and in the kind of environment you can get on with, is key to balancing life. But if you’re someone who’s struggled with accessibility in the past, what can you do now to ensure your health is being well looked after? Well, we’ve got some ideas for you below.
Understand What You Need
First, you need to know what kind of help you need. You need to know how to talk to healthcare professionals and ask for the solutions you really deserve. Above all else, you need to be able to assert your right to have access to healthcare services in the same way as everyone else, but more on that later.
For now, let’s go over the key terms you’re going to need to know in order to understand that appointment letter that comes through your door. For example, make sure you know what that department name means, or what the medical assistant you’re going to be seeing actually does. Make sure you know how your data is handled, and how to access your patient record.
Know Your Rights
As a patient, you have rights. As a patient with accessibility needs, you may not understand how to exert your rights. However, even just checking the ADA website can do you a whole lot of good in the future! Make sure any hospital or doctor’s office adheres to these guidelines.
Learn to Self Medicate
Self-medicating, otherwise known as self-care, is something a lot of people don’t know how to do. Sure, you can take a painkiller every now and then for a headache, but do you know how to really take care of yourself when you’ve got serious health needs?
If you don’t, as well as understanding the kind of care you require, it’s important to know what you can do to alleviate your symptoms at home. For example, for someone living with chronic pain, or living with an anxiety disorder, shopping at a CBD online store could be very helpful, and prevent you from suffering unnecessarily between hospital appointments.
Maybe even just regular hot baths, or cutting a certain food product out of your diet could go a long way as well – just be sure to do your research beforehand.
If you’ve found healthcare inaccessible in the past, keep in mind that you’re not alone in trying to deal with your healthcare needs. Push for more, learn how to look after yourself, and never underestimate how important communication can be.