Emergencies happen when we least expect them, and it’s difficult to be prepared. When it comes to our senior loved ones, it helps to have an emergency checklist at the ready, so when the unexpected does happen we are ready to react. Use this checklist as a guide, and ensure that all of the information is distributed amongst your family and any friends or caregivers who may be on hand in a crisis:
List of medication. If your senior loved one is on any medication, prescription or not, ensure that the list is kept up to date and available should they be rushed to hospital.
Home access. Most senior falls happen at home, and if they can’t get up or need assistance it is much easier to already have easy access to the house. If someone lives nearby with a spare key that may be all you need, but a lock box or safe place to store a key on the property ensures that the first responder on the scene can open the door if it is locked.
List of important numbers. It’s probably easiest to keep this list near the list of medications. Record all of the individuals who need to be notified, or who live closest and would be able to come to the hospital if needed. Also list family doctor, care agency, or any other relevant healthcare professionals.
Legal and financial information. In the event that your family needs to make any decisions on behalf of your senior loved one, ensure that the right people have access to pertinent financial and legal information. Organising a power of attorney is much easier and far less stressful to do in advance of ailing health, so if your family hasn’t yet discussed this, why not do it now?
List of any medical information. It will help healthcare professionals in an emergency if they can easily access any relevant medical past, such as recent surgeries or illnesses. Ensure that this record is available.
None of us like to think about emergencies in our family, but if we prepare, we can help to make highly stressful situations slightly less so.