Many seniors are more vulnerable when it comes to medical emergencies and accidents, such as slips and falls. That’s why caregivers are encouraged to have an emergency plan in place in the event their loved one requires immediate care to treat an urgent medical issue.
Having a solid plan in place not only reduces stress but also helps improve the chance of a swift recovery. Here are a few steps you can take for greater peace of mind:
- Create an Emergency Checklist – Checklists should include information like emergency contacts, the names and phone numbers of the person’s doctors and other medical staff, a list of current medications and dosages, food and medication allergies, and other pertinent information. You should also ensure that the senior’s insurance information is easily accessible.
- Consider a Medical Alert System – When a person has a falling risk and lives alone, a medical alert system is crucial. These devices ensure that assistance is available 24/7 at the push of a button in the event of an emergency. Because it may not be possible for the person to access a phone after a serious fall, having access to this type of immediate help can make a difference in the outcome.
- Organize Essential Legal Documents – Healthcare directives, durable medical power of attorney forms, and physician orders for life-sustaining treatment (POLST) all provide important details on the type of treatment a person prefers in the event of a major health issue. Having copies of these documents on-hand ensures the senior receives the type of care they’ve previously specified.
- Put Together a “Go” Bag – A go bag should contain all the necessary items a person may need in the event of hospitalization, such as:
- Changes of clothing
- Mobile device charger
- Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.)
- Spare eyeglasses
- Books, magazines, or crossword puzzles
- Make Sure Medical Records Are Accessible – Being able to share a person’s health history on-demand is vital in the event of a medical emergency. You must be aware of their current conditions, medications, and any allergies that they have so that you can communicate essential information to the medical team.
In addition to these steps, you can also download a free app to ensure easy access to your loved one’s medical records. Medical information can be shared with doctors and other staff from your mobile device. You can also upload new information easily, which helps ensure a patient’s health history remains complete and accurate.