Caregiving is often found as a result of a crisis situation. We hear a lot, “If I only knew then what I know now.” As an adult child, we may often find ourselves unprepared for a loved one’s medical crisis. Creating a plan for prevention, involvement and knowledge building can help ensure your loved one is receiving the best medical care possible when an emergency happens.
There is nothing scarier than witnessing a loved one experience a major trauma and relying on YOU to help make the decisions. Whether your loved one is living independently, in an assisted living facility, or with you or family, a medical emergency can creep in.
Can we even be prepared for emergencies?
We are here to help you identify steps you can take and how to make some early decisions for comfort and peace of mind in caregiving.
Here are a few tips for being proactive and not reactive in your caregiving:
- Be involved.
The #1 way to decrease the risk of having to handle situations as an emergency is being involved up front. Have you had a discussion about your loved one’s needs in the current situation? Or what are their wishes for the future if an emergency arises? As our loved one’s age, it is more and more important to help advocate and understand their needs in case they can’t speak for themselves. Suggestions for being involved include ensuring there are:
- living wills
- advance directives
- typed medical histories including the names and contact information for primary doctors, specialists, medications and diagnosis’
- recent copies of health insurance and other important documentation located in a place any potential caregiver or family member can access
- Be proactive in healthcare management.
Ensure your loved one’s are receiving timely medical care and evaluation. As our loved one’s (and ourselves) are aging, we need to be looking for signs of when the proper time to offer help in managing care, finances, or living status is needed. Is your loved one scheduling doctor appointments? Are they attending them? Is transportation an issue? Have there been recent falls or possible depression? Maybe virtual assistance may be a better fit. Ensuring loved one’s can handle care on their own, or making recommendations when the time is right, can go a long way in preventing or limiting emergent situations.
- Gain knowledge now, not later.
As a child of an aging adult, nothing makes you feel more vulnerable or helpless than the inability to answer questions relating to a loved one’s medical condition in the face of an emergency. Having your loved one keep a list of current medications or recent medical providers can turn a frustrating situation into one of fact checking instead of information gathering. This will help any potential treatment needs move much more quickly and offer your loved one and yourself peace of mind in creating a plan of care and having ALL healthcare professionals on the same page at the same time!
- Leverage local and online resources.
Ever hear the saying, “It takes a village”? There is a reason for that. Don’t forget to utilize your community resources like Area Agencies on Aging, The National Council on Aging, or your local ombudsman office to help figure out what information you may need to be prepared in the face of an emergency.
Home Care Providers – Nightingale Home Health, Nightingale Visiting Nurse, and Aspire Home Health – are here for help. No one likes to think about the possibilities associated with aging, and too often we hear from families because of a crisis situation. We want caregivers and their loved ones to feel empowered both physically AND mentally.
If you are looking for more than tips in your home care plan, find out more about our home care services by contacting us today!
Home Care Providers provides personalized, high-quality care with the most innovative technology allowing physicians, families, and care teams to stay connect compliance by documenting and communicating within a secure portal. We want our patients, families, physicians, hospitals, and any facility we coordinate care with to experience THE BEST services possible!