What is a health coach and why do I need one?
June 15, 2017 | Good Primary Care
Why you need a health coach
One great thing about healthcare today is that there are so many different types of professionals that help you work toward your healthiest and happiest selves. There are doctors, nurses, physician assistants, social workers, phlebotomists and many others that make up the whole puzzle. One role we have championed is the Health Coach.
What is a health coach?
A traditional Health Coach supports you in making healthy lifestyle choices, mostly focused around nutrition. You meet with them for mentoring, coaching and for coming up with a health plan.
Health Coaches at Iora are a little different. At Iora, think of a Health Coach as your partner. Yes they do everything that a traditional Health Coach does, but they also act as your health advocate. They want to help you with your health goals and make sure you are getting everything you need from Iora, your insurance, the health system and the community.
What does a Health Coach do?
Health Coaches work closely with your primary care physician to help you manage all aspects of your care. The difference between traditional Health Coaches and Health Coaches at Iora is that they are from your community and help you coordinate with specialists, family members, pharmacies and more.
Benefits of health coaching for seniors:
#1 Helps you make a health plan.
It’s common that you come to your doctor and say, “I want to quit smoking.” But, as with all behavior changes, it’s easier said than done. Do you want to talk through the reasons to quit smoking? Do you want to get a text reminding you to not pick up that cigarette? Do you want someone who is still proud of you when you start smoking again and is there to help give quitting another try when you are ready? A Health Coach is there to help you make a plan, stick to it, and make changes should things not work out.
Watch this video to find out how our Health Coach, Dee, helped a patient get healthier and happier after she had a stroke.
#2 Makes sure you understand the diagnosis and deals with medical paperwork.
Healthcare can be confusing and complicated. There is overwhelming paperwork, confusing medical lingo, and appointments with specialists…and that’s just to start. Health Coaches are there to be on the front line with you, make sure you understand the diagnosis, how to fill out the paperwork correctly and identify the right specialist to call, if needed. Health Coaches break down the confusion and complication so that you don’t have to figure it out all by yourself.
#3 Serves as a bridge between you and your doctor.
Quite simply, Health Coaches listen and make sure you are listened to. Do you have a question, but didn’t want to ask the doctor? Are you not sure you know what you need to do after leaving your appointment? Do you need to call someone close to you to explain something but aren’t quite sure how to explain it? A Health Coach can help.
At Iora, we offer free fitness and health education classes so you have additional nutrition and fitness support. Find a local practice near you and request a class calendar!
At the end of the day, you need a whole team behind you; you need a primary care physician, nurse, operations assistant and you especially need the benefits of health coaching. Why do you need a Health Coach? Because all of these people are working to better the life of one person: you.
To learn more about Iora Primary Care’s Health Coach role and find a local Health Coach near you, please visit: www.ioraprimarycare.com/patients