Be a Resource, Find a Resource

By The National Health Council

Communities come in all shapes and sizes. There are friends who get together around a common interest, such as playing soccer, working on a community garden, or discussing a new book. Then there are more formal communities based on geographical neighborhoods or places of worship.

Judging from the fact that you’re on the Lotsa Helping Hands website, it’s safe to say you’ve taken a step toward joining or establishing a community of your own – one that revolves around your health needs or caring for a family member or friend.

Patient Advocacy Groups Can Help

Patient advocacy organizations can extend your network and introduce you to people with similar conditions, helping you connect with others who can relate to your situation. Like Lotsa Helping Hands, patient advocacy organizations help people through the ups and downs of health difficulties. Such organizations understand that a shared community can make a huge difference in someone’s life. They also produce invaluable resources for patients and their family caregivers.

In addition to offering peer-to-peer assistance, patient advocacy organizations have experts to address your questions or concerns. These organizations can provide information about a particular disease or disability, and the more you know, the less anxiety you will feel and the more effective you will be at achieving your health-related goals. Patient advocacy organizations can help you find support groups that assist in managing emotional, physical, and financial difficulties related to living with or caring for someone with a chronic condition or disability. These organizations also help patients and their families live fuller and more normal lives.

If you think a patient advocacy organization could help you or someone you care for, check out the list of organizations that meet the highest, most extensive national standards of organizational effectiveness and public stewardship for patient organizations. They are listed in the National Health Council’s Resource Directory.

Creating or joining a community can make a huge difference in someone’s life. Consider including a patient advocacy organization as part of your wider community. Is there a Patient Advocacy Group that you’ve found especially helpful along your journey? Let us know in the comments below.