Different thoughts may come to mind when you hear the word ‘advocacy.’ Some may not be familiar with the term or others may have a very vivid description of what the word means to them. Advocacy can be defined as active support, pleading or arguing in favor of something or for some type of cause. Individuals advocate for themselves in different ways, sometimes without the knowledge that they’re engaging in self-advocacy. When you visit your doctor and ask questions, this is a form of self-advocacy. You are supporting your healthcare by requesting more information to make the best informed decisions you can regarding your care. Some individuals have others assist them with this task at times; family members, friends and caregivers have been known to advocate for care when involved in the healthcare process. Sometimes it’s helpful to have another voice or set of ears advocating for your health needs when interacting with your medical team, and there can be different forms of this advocacy presented.
Here are some ways the MSAA can help you remain an advocate in your healthcare:
- My MS Manager™: a mobile-phone application to track disease activity, store medical information, generate reports, and assist individuals with their treatment plan
- MSAA’s S.E.A.R.C.H.™ Program: tools to help individuals with learning about the approved long-term treatments for MS, along with questions to discuss with the patient’s medical team
- My MS Resource Locator: an MS-specific, online database offering targeted information and unique support services, including detailed guides
What are some ways you advocate for your care?