Sandy Thigpen’s Background

About Our Founder

I laid the foundation of my career in the healthcare industry with the completion of the nursing program in 1980.  I chose to use my education not as a licensed nurse, but instead I used my training in many diverse areas of the medical industry gaining a unique set of skills and knowledge.  I learned the inner workings of a hospital as a Patient Liaison where I worked closely with patients, the Home Health department, Discharge Planners and Physicians.  I had the opportunity to work with the nursing staff and pharmacists of a home IV Infusion company and worked with patients receiving their therapy at home.  As the Regional Director for a national company that operated nursing homes and assisted living facilities for 5 years,  I learned how a Skilled Nursing Facility operates and what the challenges are for the staff and in turn, the patients.  My experience also includes working with Physical Therapists and patients to identify home use, medical equipment that could be used to reduce the length of stay in a rehab facility.

The years spent in the different areas of the industry I like to call my “Quilt of Experience”.  Having this overview of the industry provides  a broad range of advocacy skills that allow me to effectively advocate for my clients across many settings.

PERSONAL SENIOR ADVOCATES – Applying My Skills

It wasn’t until my own parents were hospitalized that I realized how challenging a health crisis is for Seniors and how much I knew. Pulling from knowledge I had gained over the course of my career in healthcare, in those moments that were most critical for my parents.

I knew what questions to ask, and who to ask.  I understood what my parents rights were as patients.  I also understood all of the medical terms that were being used and understood the implications to my parents healthcare.  I knew what to expect and knew when something was not quite right.  It was an incredible experience to be in the moment and know exactly what to do to help insure the best possible outcome.  I watched others around me and saw first hand how difficult it was for those families that didn’t have anyone that knew the ropes.  I had family members ask me “How do you know all of this?  What do people do if they don’t have someone like you?”

Once my parents health issues had been resolved, I knew how I wanted to use what I had learned.  I wanted to make certain patients have a voice,  their voices were heard and their rights as a patient, were respected.

At that time, Private Patient Advocacy was emerging as a solution to today’s difficult to navigate healthcare system.  In 2013, PERSONAL SENIOR ADVOCATES was founded.  I’m proud of the practice we have built and have been honored to successfully serve our many clients over the past 5 years.

CALL TODAY: 714-845-3442

Did you know

You have guaranteed rights as a patient? Do you know what they are?

When an elderly person has urinary tract infection, it is common for them to have “dementia like” symptoms.

Premature discharges lead to 40% of post-op complications occurring at home.

Why do they take photos of your body when you’re admitted to a nursing home/rehab facility?

Drug resistant infections acquired during a hospital stay have increased 230% since 2001.

The ratio of patient to staff in a medical facility is not regulated.

A new patient has their belongings logged by the staff. The same staff reconciles the list. See The Potential Problem?

Seniors can be stuck with large medical bills when the hospital doesn't Admit them. Admission vs. Observation?

Bet you didn’t know that having great insurance can actually be dangerous.

When you are in the hospital, you may request that routine lab work be done during your waking hours, not the middle of the night.

Unscrupulous medical billing practices will often reflect a “balance due” on a bill when the insurance company has already been billed.

When Seniors are discharged from a hospital, they are told they are going to “Rehab”. No one tells them that this really means they are going to a Nursing Home.

Why would anyone need to leave a nursing home to go to a doctor’s appointment?

Without an Health Care Directive, if you are unable to speak for yourself, the medical facility will make ALL treatment decisions for you.

Discharge planning begins when you arrive at the hospital, and you should be included in the planning process.

28% of hospitalizations of Seniors are caused by medication errors.

Privately paid caregivers that provide care in your home are not legally allowed to assist you with your medications.

Legally a facility doctor in a Nursing Home only has to see a patient once every 30 days unless the nurse notes in your chart that an issue requires the doctor’s attention.

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