Have you ever received a phone call in the middle of the night? At 3am, it’s unlikely someone is calling because you won the lottery. When answering that call, most of us would fear a crisis with one of our loved ones. When you’re a caregiver for an elderly family member, it’s likely an emergency. Being prepared for a crisis can make it more manageable. And having important information readily available can lead to a more successful outcome. Consider keeping the following information in a safe, accessible place and make sure to regularly update your Emergency Kit with current information.
Include close family members, doctors, and any others involved in decision making and the wellbeing of your family member.
- List of Allergies and Medical Conditions
This list is imperative in helping doctors and other caregivers to administer quality care. List any food, medication, and seasonal allergies that your loved one may have. Be specific about their medical conditions.
- Medication List
Make sure to list each medication, the dosage, when it’s taken, and who prescribed it. Update this list whenever changes are made.
- Legal Documents
Advance directives can include a living will and durable power of attorney. Additional legal paperwork can include a health care proxy, will, testament, and any designation for trusts and estates. Your elder may also have a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order, anatomical gift, or organ donation card. These documents will be needed to facilitate the care of your loved one in the manner in which s/he intended.
- Insurance Information
Make sure to have a copy of your elder’s insurance cards and any information on additional policies such as long-term care insurance.
- Photos, Videos, and Life-Event Information
A list of major life events, photos, and videos are particularly helpful for elders with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Photos and videos help them to connect with the ones they love and identify major events from their past.
You don’t have to figure this out on your own. Care.com’s Adult and Senior Care Advisors are experienced, masters-level social workers. Call us today at (855) 781-1303 and we are happy to help you with the caregiving journey.