Previously on The Caregiver’s Corner, we’ve discussed how to communicate with aging parents and seniors, the importance of having a checklist of key documents and information, and caring for the elderly overall. A lot of what we’ve discussed isn’t rocket science, but sometimes in our busy and overloaded lives we overlook the obvious, or things that we should do but just never get around to doing them.
A reminder for family caregivers or anyone caring for aging parents or seniors: make sure to have contact info “in the event of an emergency” and a list of medication/food allergies in the wallet of your aging parent, loved one, or anyone that has special medical needs.
Recently, I was told a story of someone’s parent who was admitted to an emergency room after being involved in an accident. She couldn’t remember the phone number of her son because it was pre-programmed in her cell phone and she told the ER nurse, “I just press four and he answers!” and she was only off by one digit in remembering the correct phone number. The hospital staff finally looked through her medical history and found an emergency contact number for her son and reached him after three hours. Luckily, the parent was fine and received the care she needed.
The nurse suggested, and everyone agreed, to keep a small card with the family contact info and any medical/food allergies listed. In addition, she suggested that the aging loved one, on occasion, be asked to repeat the son’s phone number so she would practice remembering it.
These suggestions are so simple, but can make a huge difference in the event of an emergency. It is unfortunate that accidents happen, so it is important that we do what we can to prepare ourselves to keep our family and friends safe.