Haven’t we all be in that situation? The situation where something has happened and we should urgently place a call, but to whom?
If you walked into your neighbor’s home right now, and you found them unable to communicate, or unconscious, what might you think?
Call one of their children?
What is their number (or worse yet, what is their name?)
Should you call their doctor?
And who might that be, and where can you find her or him?
Of course, we have the emergency 911 call, and the first responders will do everything they can to arrive quickly.
As they go to their duties, it’d be helpful if they had at least a little information to aid their effectiveness in treating and transporting your elderly friend…
… Or better yet, wouldn’t it be helpful if they had some information if it were you they were treating?
Like a card? Or cheat sheet? Or maybe a checklist?
But what exactly should be on this checklist?
So, put yourself in your neighbor’s shoes, and the person they just walked in to find unconscious or unable to talk is you. What do you want them to know?
The first thing, and something we might all take for granted, is our full name.
This may be one of the most helpful pieces of information with which responders and other health professionals can start. Chances are your name is somewhere in the system—along with crucial information such as medical conditions, allergies, next of kin and so forth.
Next, to have it out there and available, any special health concerns should be written out and visible to anyone who would be there to help. Knowing what allergies, medical conditions, and/or medications the patient has will help prevent accidents and guide the care more effectively. You may even want to list your blood type!
And now that we are drilling into some of the deeper information that would be helpful… why not list some of the people in your life that should know about your condition, and may be able to help–otherwise known as emergency contacts.
It might be family, friends, neighbors–it’s your choice, but a list of the folks that know you and can provide helpful information might save your life.
Your insurance information should be available–your insurer, policy number, agent or employer, phone number, etc.
We don’t like to think that in an emergency some of the decisions come down to dollars and cents, but for your finances and future peace of mind a lot of pain and discomfort can be avoided if your insurance information is known from the beginning of an episode of need.
Who is your doctor (or who are your doctors, if you have some special needs)?
To have the doctor’s name and number there is highly valuable for obvious reasons. It is also a key piece of information to have travel with you if you get further into the healthcare system.
Your doctor may have insight into not only your condition, but in many cases your preferences for care.
And speaking of “our wishes,” many of us have preferences for what hospital to which we do or do not wish to be transported. Our insurance carrier may have a contractual arrangement, also, so the hospital of choice should be known.
Some additional contacts of interest might be poison control, direct numbers to fire and police departments, and any other important number you might want to list.
How are you going to make these numbers known?
One of the best places to display these numbers is on your refrigerator, mainly because this is a common place to find such lists in many home.
Chances are good that first responders will look there.
We actually think this is so important that we have gone ahead and created it for you.
It’s called the Senior Care Emergency Checklist & you can download byclicking here, or contact us and we will deliver a pre-printed card for you.
Just put the numbers on the document as indicated, and be assured that you have taken a monumental first step in handling an emergency situation if the need ever arises.
And please don’t be shy, feel free to contact us for your home care needs–from assistance with cooking, cleaning, shopping, lining up medicines, medical supplies that can be delivered to your home free of shipping charges and so forth.
Autumn Hills Home Care is your locally owned, locally operated home care provider. Inspiring lives well-lived at home–one person, one family, one neighborhood at a time!