By: Linda Burhans
Having been a caregiver for my mother and also helping with other family and friends, I know that it is most important to have a written Emergency Care Plan. On occasion, family caregivers become sick or they may have an accident or require medical attention and help for themselves. As a Caregiver Advocate and
support group facilitator, I see that most caregivers do not have an emergency
I suggest you get yourself a notebook and write on the front in bold large letters “Emergency Care Plan” This book should have all the information someone would need to know to take over in your absence if necessary.
What to include?
1. Information for the person who holds the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care.
2. Family Contact Information. Please list all of the people who need to be
called in case of emergency.
3. Medical Contact Information to include names, addresses, phone numbers of all the doctors your care recipient sees. Be sure to include dentist, eye doctor, ear doctor etc.
4. Insurance Information. Names, policy numbers and where they are kept.
5. Medications. First note where you keep the medications. Secondly, list the name of the drug, the dosage and how frequently these should be dispensed to your loved one. Thirdly, add any medications that they may be allergic to. In addition, list the pharmacy and hospital names and addresses.
6. Testing needs. If your loved one requires high blood pressure or diabetes testing, list the frequency and target ranges.
7. Meals and Food. First list all foods that are not allowed do to allergies or drug interaction. List the times of day your loved one eats and some examples of typical menus they enjoy. Be sure to note if your loved (especially in dementia cases) prefers to eat from a certain bowl or dish.
8. Daily Routine. Be sure to include detailed instructions for toileting requirements, transfers, showers, dressing, etc. If your loved goes for a walk the same time each day or watches a certain television program please note it. Some dementia patients prefer to watch television without the sound… if so, please note this.
9. Home Health Care Services. Your Emergency Plan should include the contact information for a professional home care company that you have researched and feel comfortable with in case there in no one to step in for you.
Additionally, if you have a pet, it would be wise to include information regarding care and feeding. And also, the name and phone of someone who could look after your pet or some boarding options if necessary.
If you are a caregiver without an Emergency Care Plan start planning today. If you start planning early enough, even when you don't think anything is ever going to happen, then you have the peace of mind of knowing that you're prepared.