None of us hope we ever get to encounter a situation like this, ever. But emergencies can happen at all times. When taking on the task of a caregiver, one of the things we must be prepared for is to be ready to take on a difficult and stressful situation where time is of the essence. Having certain documents at hand, and going over certain details before hand could prove very useful and might mitigate the huge amount of stress critical times can bring.
Whenever going through a health emergency with our elders it is important to keep a clear and accurate grasp of certain information and documents so you can be prepared of any outcome. Below you will find a simple 10 item checklist for any Senior Emergency.
1. Doctors’ names, phone numbers and their specialties. For obvious reasons this should be the top of the list.
2. List of all medications being taken. This information is very sensitive and almost universally if you encounter an emergency you will be asked to provide this information.
3. Emergency Contact information. It is important that it is previously established, who to contact and how to reach them in the case of any emergency. Close relatives, friends or neighbors.
4. Medical Insurance information. Along side the already listed sensitive information, this is of course very important to keep handy.
5. Social Security Number. Why? Whenever dealing with insurance companies it is important that you have all pertinent information at hand. Many of them require for you to present a Social Security number of the patient.
6. Durable power of attorney. The importance to have this document can be very sensible. This document provides authority to handle legal and financial issues in case the patient is incapacitated. For the elderly, this helps them get their affairs in order.
7. Health Care Proxy. This is another legal document that should be handy, this document gives someone the authority to make medical decisions for the patient.
8. Patient’s wishes. This might be a very uncomfortable item in the list, but nonetheless one that needs to be addressed. In case of a critical emergency It should be known what is your elder’s wishes about resuscitation orders. As unpleasant and difficult as this might be, it is important to know their wishes in case of facing a difficult time like this.
9. Basic Financial information. Close relatives or loved ones should have a list of account numbers, assets and the contact information of financial advisors or bank representatives in case of a critical situation.
10. Local Clergy Contact Information. If your elder is religious, it is helpful and calming if they have spiritual support, even though if they are incapacitated.
We all hope that this list never is required, but it is something that needs to be addressed and taken care of in case of an emergency. Having all this information will make it less complicated tackling the different obstacles that critical times like this could bring.